A day after the NDA retained power in Bihar, with the BJP emerging as the dominant partner, and put on an impressive show in the bypolls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the results were an endorsement of the way the government tackled Covid-19 and prove that elections in the 21st century would be fought on the issue of development alone.
“Everyone is asking how did this happen? We can find an answer in yesterday’s results. The people of India clearly stated that the only point of debate during elections would be development in the 21st century India. They are asking every other party to come to this plank, and showing them that these are the real issues,” PM Modi said as hundreds of party workers gathered outside the BJP headquarters cheered.
“BJP is the only national party in which poor, Dalits, and deprived see their representation. Only the BJP understands the need of every section and region,” the PM said, adding that “women, the Nari Shakti” of our country were the silent voters for them. “From rural to urban, women have become the largest group of silent voters for us who vote for us repeatedly,” he said.
देश के युवाओं से मेरा आह्वान है, वो आगे आएं और बीजेपी के माध्यम से देश की सेवा में जुट जाएं।
अपने सपनों को साकार करने के लिए, अपने संकल्पों को सिद्ध करने के लिए, कमल को हाथ में लेकर चल पड़ें।
— BJP (@BJP4India) November 11, 2020
The ruling coalition won 125 seats in the 243-member Bihar assembly against 110 clinched by the opposition Grand Alliance to pave the way for a fourth successive term for Nitish Kumar in office but with diminished clout following a debilitating slide in the number of JD(U) lawmakers that came down to 43 from 71 in 2015. The BJP on Tuesday also swept the assembly by-elections, winning in 41 of 59 seats across 11 states, including Madhya Pradesh where it cemented its rule by bagging 19 seats out of 28 that went to polls.
“The secret to winning Bihar elections is ‘Sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwaas’. It is a victory of the development works in Bihar,” he added. In a veiled reference to the Congress party, Modi said, “Dynastic politics poses the biggest threat to our democracy. Unfortunately, a national-level political party is caught in the web of family politics. In such a situation, the role of BJP increases even more.”
The Prime Minister hailed the successful conduct of polls–the first during the Covid-19 pandemic–praising the Election Commission, security forces and administration and thanking the voters “not because they made BJP win the polls, but also because of enthusiastically participating in the festival of democracy.”
“Unlike earlier when there were news of booth capturing during elections, there were no reports of re-polling and voting was conduced peacefully in Bihar,” he said.
The Prime Minister also lauded his government’s efforts in containing the spread of the novel coronavirus and said that the election results endorsed the NDA’s handling of the pandemic. “The way we have fought this pandemic from Janata Curfew till today has been reflected in these election results. Every life saved from COVID is a success story for India,” he said.
In his first remarks on the results Tuesday, PM Modi had credited the victory to the “youth of Bihar (who) made it clear that new decade will be for self-reliant Bihar.”
“People’s blessings to NDA’s good governance even after 15 years of rule shows what are Bihar’s dreams and expectations,” he further said, adding that the voters have made it clear that “development is their only aspiration and priority.”
While Nitish Kumar will return as the chief minister for his fourth term despite the JD(U)’s slide to 43 seats, the big takeaway of the election is the BJP’s rise to become the largest party in the alliance— and the role played by the LJP, which broke away from the alliance in the state weeks before polls, in denting the JD(U).
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