India’s election commission results show Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and his coalition partners have returned to power after a tight race to control the legislature in Bihar, the country’s third-largest state by population by more than 100 million. Persons.
“Democracy reigned again in Bihar with the blessing of the people,” Modi wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, local time, as the results of the legislative elections in Bihar approached. “I assure every citizen of Bihar that we will continue to work for equal development for every region and for every person.”
Opinion polls indicated earlier that the BJP may head towards defeat in Bihar, which has been severely affected by measures to control the outbreak of the Corona virus in India, which is the worst in the world, along with the United States, in terms of the number of virus cases.
Although the number of new coronavirus cases has decreased daily in India since September when authorities repeatedly reported more than 90,000 cases per day, cases are starting to rise again in the country’s capital, New Delhi. Earlier this week, Delhi reported the largest one-day increase in Covid-19 cases, bringing its total to more than 450,000.
What does voting mean
Despite the Bihar elections being held in light of the emerging coronavirus crisis in the country, Jill Verners, a professor of political science at Ashoka University in North Haryana state, India, said it was not clear how much the role the Corona virus played in how people voted.
He said Bihar had already suffered from high unemployment rates before Covid-19, but the closures and dealings with migrant workers had only made matters worse. Anger and discontent over how the migrant crisis is being handled is likely to cost the BJP some votes. The BJP won 36.8% of the vote in the last elections in 2015, but this election only won 29.2%.
“It seems clear that Covid has exacerbated every preexisting problem … but not to the point where the government would fall.”
“The prevailing belief among Modi voters is that he means goodwill, he cannot make a mistake, and that he is the only alternative that exists, and this outweighs a closer look at the consequences of the government’s actions.”
Although the BJP lost its vote share in Bihar, its narrow election success heralds a change in the party’s fortune, which was affected by a number of recent defeats in other local elections despite its victory in the general election last year.
“Obviously, this is good news for the BJP,” Verners said of the Bihar state result.
How did the elections take place?
As people headed to the polls, it was clear that it wasn’t just another election.
But this kind of caution is not always seen during election campaigns.
Despite rising coronavirus cases in parts of India, politicians in Bihar held rallies ahead of the state vote. Pictures on social media showed large gatherings, with a few wearing face masks or practicing social distancing.
“India has demonstrated that it has the capacity to organize secure elections in terms of polling and counting,” said Verners. “You can’t say the same about the campaign.”
CNN’s Vedika Sud also contributed reporting from New Delhi.