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Friday, Nov 13, 2020 19:15 [IST]

Last Update: Friday, Nov 13, 2020 13:43 [IST]

The old and the new

The BharatiyaJanata Party (BJP) has run away with it again. Whatever the permutations and combinations eventually, and however altering the electoral patterns in different states, a leitmotif persists – the BJP is gaining more and more political terra firma across India. While the triumph margins have been wafer-thin on many seats in Bihar and the wait was excruciatingly long, considering that COVID-19 norms had to be followed during counting, there is an indisputable inference that can be drawn. The BJP has emerged as one of the most dominant players in the state, and the Congress has embarrassingly posted its worst performance, in yet another region.
The JD(U) will be the junior partner in the NDA alliance in Bihar. It will be interesting to see how Nitish Kumar, one of the shrewdest politicians in the country, deals with this new normal.
At the end of a dramatic counting day that was as exciting as Tuesday's IPL final, Bihar’s final verdict of the Assembly election arrived well past midnight. Proving most exit polls wrong, the ruling NDA crossed the mid-way mark in the 243-member Bihar Assembly, winning 125 seats. The RJD-led mahagathbandhan put up a spirited fight but fell short at the end of the day, settling for 110 seats in what was a very-closely contested election. While Nitish Kumar looks set to continue as Bihar chief minister – unless Amit Shah springs up a last-minute surprise – he will be the junior partner in the alliance: the JD(U) won 43 seats compared to the BJP’s74. It will be interesting to see how Nitish, one of the shrewdest politicians in India, manages this new normal.
And then, there is the arrival of TejashwiYadav. For a 31-year-old to take on the might of what is arguably the most sophisticated electoral machinery in the world, and emerge as the leader of the single-largest party in Bihar, is no mean feat. The RJD-led maha-gathbandhan may have failed to dislodge the NDA from power, but make no mistake: Tejashwi’s star is rising in Indian politics.  No matter what convoluted explanations Congress spokespersons give on TV, the fact is that the party’s failure to up its game has cost the mahagathbandhan the election. The Congress won just 19 of the 70seats it contested – a dismal strike rate of 27 per cent. Its tally is down by eight from 2015, though it had contested only 41 seats last time. This performance will also give pause to the likes of the DMK, which is allied with the Congress in poll-bound Tamil Nadu.
By winning Bihar, Modi has shown that, a year after the 2019 landslide win in the LokSabha polls, he retains the confidence of a majority of voters. But success in the 2024 polls demands a resurgent Bihar on a growth trajectory. Modi and Kumar will have to do it, setting aside the demands of their respective parties.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi