Congress dilemma after Bihar victory: Alliances work against Modi, but will opposition unity work against it?

Wherever the BJP and the Congress have squared off after the Lok Sabha elections, the grand old party lost. Be it in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand, Delhi or Jammu and Kashmir.

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi | Updated: November 8, 2015 8:01 pm
bihar elections, bihar results, bihar elections live, bihar elections result live, biahr news, bihar polls live, nitish kumar, bihar nitish kumar, india news, bihar live, bihar election results Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, center, is surrounded by media personnel as he greets supporters after victory in Bihar state elections in Patna. (Source: PTI)

The BJP will face the same fate in Assam, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said, as the Bihar verdict became clear. The Congress, of course, was happy at the results for it has national ramifications but Gogoi was perhaps the most relieved. He feels the so-called Narendra Modi wave has ebbed. So he has every reason to be happy.

Wherever the BJP and the Congress have squared off after the Lok Sabha elections, the grand old party lost. Be it in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand, Delhi or Jammu and Kashmir.

Assam will be the first state where the Congress and the BJP will square off after the Bihar elections. The Congress will have neither Lalu nor Nitish to help in Assam – or in Kerala where the BJP is making inroads, witness it surge in the local elections held last week.

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However, the sense in the Congress now is that the BJP juggernaut can be stopped.

For the Congress, the results in Bihar mean many things. It was a small cog in the Grand Alliance wheel but it did improve its tally. In fact, not merely improve, its tally has risen from 5 to 26, a more than five-fold jump. That is a strike rate of around 60 per cent. But more than that, the result will send a message across the country that the BJP and Modi were no more invincible.

Out of the 41 seats it contested, the Congress fought the BJP in 28. The BJP thought these as easy pickings. As the results were declared, the Congress had either won or is leading in 19 out of these 28, the BJP was ahead in just nine. In one seat, the Congress had finished seventh the last time and today it won the seat by a margin of over 30,000.

The future of the Grand Alliance is not a real concern for the Congress. It is yet to decide on whether to join the Nitish Kumar government although sources said it will. Its worry is the impact of these results on the forthcoming polls: there will be pressure on the Congress high command to go in for alliances in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.

Gogoi was emphatic that there will be no seat adjustments with Badruddin Ajmal’s AUDF in Assam for it may unite the Muslim vote but transfer the Hindu vote to the BJP.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee was quick to congratulate Nitish so was Delhi’s Arvind Kejriwal. If a third front, or a credible secular emerges as an alternative to the BJP, the Congress worries that the front will occupy its space. So, the Congress faces a tricky situation.

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  1. T
    Nov 8, 2015 at 8:58 pm
    Analysts forget it was Rahul and Sonia who forced hands of Lalu to accept leadership of Nitish for CM. Sonia knows how to tame the unruly and rowdy elements. In Tamil Nadu Congress money will Vijaykant to under DMK. In am Congress will lead
    1. S
      Nov 9, 2015 at 3:20 am
      After the victory speeches and the garland ceremonies, one would see when the reality sinks in. One can imagine how Lalu would behave and who is going to actually rule. As far as congress is concerned it is irrelevant in Bihar. By obstructing Modi's progressive agenda, India would become big Bihar.
      1. Kustagi Raghavendrachar
        Nov 9, 2015 at 11:53 am
        Rahulhi may start telling his men that because of him BJP could be defeated.He was given life from Nitishkumar.Laalu never likes him to be with them.Laalu is a seasoned poliian will never forget the insult meted out to him from Rahulhi.If the ordinance were to ped then in the present scenario the CM would be Laaluprasadyadav.Rahullhi has been battered by BJP in all previous elections.He can not claim his role was responsible for the defeat of BJP fact he has been given place in theMGB which has given some fresh oxygen to breath.Even now the BJP has been polled higher percentage votes compared to others.United the MGT hs come to power.But how long they will be united.Time will tell.The MGD partners ,particularly Rahulhi has started giving sermons to Modi.Modi is the Prime Minister of this country .He has to travel for keeping in touch with heads of nations and also to strenghen the ties and also to have bilateral talks.He is not going abroad like Rahul going for sabatical.Tolerance can never be in the congress.Right from Nehru times the intolerance has swallowed selfless freedom fighters like Subhashchandrabose and sardar patel.Modi has reduced them to 44.The other parties who are traditional opponents of congress will make them much more irrelevant Bihar Rahul has to be very careful.Laalu will never allow him to wag his tail.His comments on RSS is one of arrogance.Right from the days of Nehru congress has moved heaven and earth to finish RSS but they only have allowed it to grow from strenth to strenth.This victory is on the basis of caste-religion polarisation only and not a victory for development.Otherwise nitish should have got more seats,and congress which had 2 seats would have been wiped out.So reading too much in this elction may not be helpful.All consuents should strive hard to the betterment of Bharis.And warning to BJP also to understand the ground realities and they should talk less and work more for the people.
        1. H
          Nov 8, 2015 at 8:34 pm
          If Congress can pull off AM and Punjab... (May be kerala although it looks really difficult for congress down south) Things will be different. If the results are on its side in these states it will have the chance to guide the alliance. Why the 3rd front without congress won't work? Or not a threat to congress. AAP is no challenge to anyone outside Delhi. (Be vary of Punjab where AAP has hold so congress should not commit a mistake of Delhi) TMC is only in West Bengal. SP can't expect any gains in UP next time. Mayawati may gain but Congress should work hard here ( a repeat of modest performance like Bihar will do the trick) Congress performance in Bihar presents the party with opportunity and challenge. Let's see if the party is learning from defeats.
          1. P
            Nov 9, 2015 at 1:04 pm
            The outstanding power centre of Lalu is going to be like UPA. Will Nitish be acceptable in Delhi like in Bihar.
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