Bihar polls: Political battle ends, online war continues

  • Vignesh Radhakrishnan and Rezaul H Laskar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 08, 2015 15:35 IST
JD(U) supporters celebrate the Mahagathbandhan's victory in Bihar assembly elections in Patna. (PTI)

As Bihar’s poll battle ended on Sunday with the JD(U)-RJD combine securing a comfortable win, social media exploded with debates on issues as diverse as pollsters getting things wrong and a BJP leader’s remarks about the role of “foreign powers” in the election.

#BiharElections and #BiharResults were the trending hashtags, jointly garnering more than 136,000 tweets since the counting of votes began in the morning. And as the trends and results came in, it was difficult to decide who had the best analogies, quips and memes.

Tweeple directed much of their fire at TV news channels and pollsters that predicted significant leads for the National Democratic Alliance after the month-long elections.

The initial spike for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in poll trends and varying tallies on different news channels were among the most discussed subjects on Twitter. Some channels showed a massive lead for the BJP while others had the exact opposite.

BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi’s remarks to a TV channel that “foreign powers are involved in this election” drew derisive reactions on Twitter.

Another hot topic that attracted the attention of Tweeple was the role to be played by former chief minister Lalu Prasad as his Rashtriya Janata Dal appeared set to have a higher number of legislators and greater vote share than Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United).

Congress supporters were excited about the Grand Alliance’s victory, even though their party was leading in 23 seats. While some appreciated Congress’ increased seat share compared to the 2010 polls, others mocked the party’s celebrations.

Tweeple discussed the Shiv Sena crossing 50,000 votes in Bihar and the party’s attacks on the BJP following its loss in the state.

Today’s Chanakya - the only pollster to make accurate predictions about the past two Lok Sabha elections – was trolled for predicting the exact opposite of the final result. The agency had predicted 155 (+/- 11) for BJP+, 83 (+/-9) for Grand Alliance.

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