BJP’s allies seem to have contributed significantly to the humiliating defeat that the NDA suffered at the hand of Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance in Bihar.
The BJP depended heavily on its three allies — LJP of Ram Vilas Paswan, RLSP of Upendra Kushwaha and HAM-S of Jitan Ram Manjhi — for its victory and left 86 seats for them.
Put together, these three parties won just five seats — two each for Paswan and Kushwaha and one for Manjhi — bringing down the NDA to mere 58 seats.
Paswan contested 42 seats and polled 4.8% votes. It appears that there was not much dent to his traditional Paswan votes, which account for nearly 6% of Bihar’s population.
But, Kushwaha and Manjhi were a big disappointment for the BJP, whose leaders now claim they failed to get votes from their support base.
Kushwahas account for nearly 5% of Bihar voters and Mahadalits, of which Manjhi was a self-styled champion, are nearly 10% of Bihar’s population. RLSP fielded 23 candidates and got less than 3% votes.
The BJP increased its votes share by a few points but it was largely because it contested 55 more seats as compared to 2010.