A few pointers on how Bihar polls are strikingly similar to Delhi elections held in the beginning of the year.
- Bi-polar contest: The contest in Bihar is between two main contenders – BJP led NDA and JDU led Janata alliance similar to Delhi where it was between BJP and AAP. Congress was not in contention from Day 1 in Delhi and has a far insignificant role in Bihar.
- Acrimonious campaign: Bi-polar nature of contest and high stakes for both Modi-Shah Jodi and survival / revival of Nitish / Lalu have reduced the quality of campaign with a lot of below the belt strikes from both sides. Similar situation was evident in Delhi when BJP and AAP supporters clashed on social media and other platforms literally deriding each other.
- Opinion polls divided: Like Delhi, opinion polls are divided on who will win Bihar. Majority say NDA will win (Zee, ABP, C Voter, News Nation, Leadtech, Data Mineria) , some say Janata alliance will win (CNN-IBN, India Today). Similar case was visible in Delhi were some said BJP will win, some said AAP will win & some said a hung assembly.
- Nitish maintains a clear lead for most suitable CM candidate like Kejriwal: Even in polls wherein it shows that NDA will win, Nitish Kumar is shown as the most popular CM candidate. This was evident in Delhi wherein Kejriwal remained the most popular CM choice across polls. In both cases the gap did narrow before the start of voting day. Sushil Modi was seen catching up with Nitish, while Kejriwal lost some points after Kiran Bedi was announced as CM candidate of NDA.
- Significance of polls: Both polls have assumed great significance. Delhi was important for opposition and anti-Modi forces to stop the BJP juggernaut which was on a roll after winning 4 state elections. Bihar too is important for the same reason. The fact that it is a much bigger state (40 MPs vs 7 MPs) makes it all the more significant for anti-BJP / anti-Modi forces. If NDA loses in Bihar, it will give confidence to opposition and then there could be a Janata Party like experiment in 2019 Lok Sabha with Congress leading the brigade.
- Results: ? Yet to be announced as polls still underway. Delhi was a sweep by AAP. If it is a sweep by either of the alliances then these uncanny similarities will get further strengthened.
Let’s wait and watch till 8th November, 2015.