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Modi magic suffers a jolt

Publication Date : 26-08-2014

 

The Modi wave that gave the Bharatiya Janata Party its first absolute majority in parliament in May suffered a jolt in key by-polls for which results were announced on Monday.

Perhaps the most crucial of the adverse outcomes for prime minister Narendra Modi came in the populous state of Bihar where the BJP had done unexpectedly well.

In three other races in Congress-ruled southern state of Karnataka, the Congress took two seats against the BJP’s 1.

In the Punjab, the Congress and BJP ally Akali Dal took the honours equally with one seat each.

In BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh, the Congress got one unlikely seat against the BJP’s two.

A BJP spokesman described the results as disappointing. The by-elections were held in the four states on August 21.

However, the re-bonding of old rivals Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar was a key feature of by-polls.

They checkmated the BJP’s march in Bihar with the secular alliance winning 6 of the 10 assembly seats.

In the 2010 assembly poll, BJP had won 6 of the 10 seats which went to polls, while Lalu Yadav was victorious on 3 and Nitish Kumar on 1.

This time, BJP won Narkatiaganj, Hajipur, Banka and Mohania seats.

RJD of Lalu Prasad was victorious in Rajnagar, Chapra and Mohiuddinagar. Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) won in Jale and Parbatta, while Congress wrested Bhagalpur from BJP.

In Banka, BJP candidate Ramnarayan Mandal defeated his nearest RJD rival Iqbal Hussain Ansari by a slender margin of 711 votes.

The outcome of the by-poll would not have much impact on health of Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi as it already enjoys support of 145 members of legislative assembly in the 243-member House.

The Press Trust of India said the by-elections infused new energy in JD(U), RJD and Congress in the state after they received severe drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls.

BJP and allies had won 31 out of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar.

RJD which had fought with Congress and NCP had won 7, while JD(U) which went solo had managed only 2 seats in the wake of “Modi wave”.

The by-poll saw a low voting percentage of about 47. In an earlier race, after the parliamentary polls, the Congress had thrashed the BJP in Uttarakhand by-elections.

 

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