Development work, wider support gets BJP resounding results in Bihar


New Delh: The Bharatiya Janata Party’s resounding electoral success in the Bihar assembly polls is being attributed by party leaders to development work done by the alliance government headed by Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Nitish Kumar, selection of right candidates, good election management and expansion of support base.

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Party leaders said that the people had voted overwhelmingly for development and had not been swayed by caste and community considerations. The BJP is poised to win around 91 of the 102 seats it contested.

“People belonging to any caste and community want development. That is the 21st century trend. Nitish delivered what he promised. The BJP complimented him in the development work and the government work unitedly,” BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar told IANS.

BJP leaders said that the party had received support from Muslims despite the efforts by its rivals “to demonise” the party among the community.

“Muslims also need security and development. They have understood that they were treated as a vote bank by the Congress,” Javadekar added.

BJP leaders said that National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidates had done well in nearly 43 of the 60 assembly seats which have a sizeable presence of Muslims.

The party had one Muslim candidate – Saba Zaffar- among its nominess. Zaffar defeated Abdul Jalil Mastan of the Congress in Amour seat by over 18,000 votes.

BJP leaders said the party had not decided its candidates on the basis of caste but on the feedback it collected in multiple ways.

“The selection of candidates and election management was done in a professional manner. We did not go by simple logic of caste or group loyalities. There was no quota,” Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, political advisor to party president Nitin Gadkari, told IANS.

He said that apart from feedback from state and national leaders, surveys were done to identify the best candidate for a seat.

The BJP had won 55 of 102 seats it contested in the Nov 2005 elections and had got a vote share of 15.65 percent.

BJP sources said the party changed candidates for five seats it had won in the previous election and had changed the seats of 10 MLAs.

They said there were no major complaints in the distribution of tickets and the problem that cropped up due to resignation of state unit chief C.P. Thakur over the choice for some seats was swiftly handled by Gadkari.

Party leaders did not say if the party had benefited in the elections from the court verdict in the Ayodhya title suit.

“The verdict is such that no party is in a position to exploit it. There is no question of overplaying or underplaying the issue. The party’s thrust was on development,” a party leader said.

A senior leader, who addressed several rallies in Bihar, said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had about a seven percent lead over Congress-Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) combine in the previous assembly elections.

“We had anticipated the lead to increase to 10 percent after the Congress and RJD decided to contest the polls separately. If Congress and RJD had contested together, they could have got almost the total vote of Muslim community and the Yadavs, besides getting partial support of upper castes and Dalits,” the leader said.

He said that while the BJP got the overwhelming support of the upper catses, it had also drawn votes from non-Yadav backward castes, most backward classes (MBCs), Maha Dalits and a section of the minorities.

“It was a rainbow coalition from which both JD-U and BJP benefited. The solid support of MBCs, apart from Maha Dalits, added to the strength of the alliance,” he said.

The leader said he was confident about the party improving its performance over 2005 polls but had not put an upper cap on the seats BJP will win as indications were very positive.