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One election, many lessons as Nitish swords Modi

In the recently ended Bihar assembly elections, BJP conceded defeat. The coalition of Yadav\'s with Congress have taken the lead. Is BJP supposed to learn from its mistakes? Read through to know more...

One election, many lessons as Nitish swords Modi

In the end the voters of Bihar, of whose intelligence, unfortunately, many speculate and joke, gave not a simple majority, not a two-third majority but a three-fourth majority.  Except that it was not for the BJP.  It’s the kind of drubbing that would make any party introspect.

In a masterly interview to Arnob Goswami, the combative Amit Shah, while repeatedly saying he would wait for 8 November to tell if the Bihar election was a referendum on the prime minister let the mask slip when, in a rare moment, he claimed his party would win two-thirds of the seats.

In the end the voters of Bihar, of whose intelligence, unfortunately, many speculate and joke, gave not a simple majority, not a two-third majority but a three-fourth majority.  Except that it was not for the BJP.  It’s the kind of drubbing that would make any party introspect.

Sadly this party has been a bad loser. Remember India 2004? Remember Delhi 2015?  In the first case, it paralysed parliament for almost ten years and in the second lined up behind the Lt. Governor to stall a duly elected government. Regardless, let that pass and let’s pick up the lessons.

Lesson 1:  This election has seen a deplorable fall in the quality of public discourse.  Leading from the front has been the prime minister, who in the company of a crowd and a mike, lets loose a volley of words that makes you squirm. You squirm because he is our prime minister and not an ordinary politician and you expect people, holding such exalted positions, to be statesmanlike.  No one expects a politician to be a saint, but everyone expects a politician to be a role model.  This election more than anything underscores this. You don't go to a state and abuse the man who has been elected their CM for ten long years.

Lesson 2: Sadly the BJP has a tendency to run down anyone who and any institution, which disagrees with them. Terming every dissenter an anti-national, dismissing every disagreement as manufactured, claiming credit for schemes they once called unpatriotic, the party, which has the intellect and ability to envision is unable to take people along.  “My way or the highway” is the mantra. This election outcome is a rude wake-up call.  It’s time Mr. Modi wakes up on this, reaches out to the opposition and gets the string of reforms on track. That’s an underlying message of this result.

Lesson 3:  Now the exit polls.  There is only so much an agency can predict about an election.  And it is best to accept that.  This time around, like many times before, it has turned worse than tarot prediction.  The exit polls have been horribly wrong.

 

   

NDA

GRAND ALLIANCE

OTHERS

         

Times Now

C-Voter

111

122

10

India Today

Cicero

120

117

6

ABP

Nielsen

108

130

5

NewsX

CNX

95

135

13

News 24

Chanakya

155

83

5

News Nation

 

114

125

4

NDTV

 

125

110

8

Poll of Polls

 

118

118

7

 

At the time of this writing if we source CNN-IBN, which was the first channel to call the polls, the score line is 66, 170 and 7.

Arnab Goswami claimed credit saying Times Now was closest to being correct! He was economical with the truth as News X was more accurate.  Today’s Chanakya’s number turned out to be school boyish. But at least, unlike motor mouths, they were contrite putting up this tweet:

#TCExitPoll We sincerely apologise all our friends & well wishers for not able to predict Bihar. Congratulations to the winning alliance.

That way I was a lot better. I had predicted a 2/3rd sweep for “any one of the alliances!”

Final word:  If you want to change the electoral landscape, announce your chief ministerial candidate, avoid parties and candidates with dubious credentials, and engage with decorum. If you ask, has the Congress has been different then like Shourie said, you are a “Congress, plus a cow.”   When people voice concern as in AwardWapsi, sit up and take notice instead of calling them “anti-national”, telling them “Go to Pakistan,” and dismissing everything as  “Manufactured dissent”.

The honeymoon is over, the bhakts on social media and elsewhere notwithstanding.  The Prime Minister has both the ability and the willingness to deliver. He has time on his side, and he needs to decide whether he wants to be remembered as a man who changed India’s narrative positively, or as one who was busy tweeting and travelling.

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