Patna, November 11
With Bihar witnessing a thrilling contest for the 243 assembly seats, the victory for the NDA may be attributed to the BJPs much-improved strike rate since the last election and a slide in the RJDs and Congress scoring rate.
The BJP increased its strike rate from 33.75 per cent in 2015 to 67.3 per cent in 2020, while the RJDs number came down from an impressive 79.2 per cent last polls to 52 per cent this time.
The RJD-led Mahagathbandhans overall strike rate was also brought down significantly by the Congress too which slid from 65.85 per cent in the 2015 polls to 27.14 per cent this poll, a decline of over 38 percentage point.
The BJP had contested 157 seats in 2015, when it was a rival of the JD(U) and the RJD, and had won 53. It added 19 more seats to its 2015 tally, even though it contested 47 fewer seats than the previous election.
The RJD, however, had contested 101 seats and won 80 (SR 79.2 per cent) in 2015. It contested 144 seats, 43 more than last time, but won 75, five less than 2015, bringing their strike rate down to 52.
A better strike rate for the BJP also meant that a negative swing in its vote share since 2015 — from 24.42 per cent to 19.5 per cent — did not have any impact on their seat tally.
As for the RJD, their higher vote share of 23.1 per cent this time around — 3.6 percentage point higher than the BJPs could fetch it just one seat more than the saffron party.
Also, the RJD vote share jumped from 18.35 per cent, explained by the larger number of constituencies they contested this poll, but their seat tally came down due to a reduced strike rate.
BJP partner JD(U), which fought the 2015 election in alliance with the RJD and Congress, has not only suffered in terms of vote share but also in strike rate which relegated it to the third position in the current state assembly elections after the RJD and the saffron party.
The Nitish Kumar-led party had contested 101 seats in 2015, winning 71 of them at a strike rate of 69.3 per cent.
In the 2020 poll, the party contested 115 seats and won just 43, their strike rate down to 37.4 per cent, a negative swing of almost 32 per cent, which was in a way compensated by the BJPs upswing of over 33 per cent.
The JD(U)s vote share came down marginally from 16.83 per cent to 15.39 per cent, a decrease of 1.44 percentage point, most of which can be attributed to the LJPs upswing of 0.83 percentage point.
RJD ally Congress contested 70 seats this time and won 19, eight fewer than 2015 when it had fielded candidates in 41 constituencies.
The party, however, has improved its vote share from 6.6 per cent to 9.4 per cent.
The biggest gainers in terms of strike rate this time were the three Left parties — the CPI-ML (SR 63.15% from less than four), CPI-M (SR 50% from zero) and CPI (SR 33.33% from zero) — and the Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIS which won five of the 20 constituencies (SR 35%) it fought.
In 2015, the CPI-ML (Liberation) has contested 98 seats and won just three at a strike rate of less than four per cent, but it improved to 63.15 per cent this time winning 12 of the 19 contested.
The CPI (M) and the CPI, both of whom had drawn blank in the 2015 polls, scored a strike of 50 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively, this year in the four and six seats they contested.
The AIMIM, which had zero seats in 2015 with a .21 per cent votes share, improved on both counts as it scored a strike rate of 35 per cent and clocked 1.24 per cent votes.
Though their five seats do not look significant in an assembly of 243 members, they dented the Mahagathbandhans chances from the Kosi-Seemanchal region which went to polls in the third and final phase.
During the electioneering, the Congress had termed the AIMIM a “B” team of the NDA.
For Chirag Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party, the story is much in the votes he got, which did not translate into seats but spoiled the JD(U) game, rather than the strike rate.
The LJP won just one seat — it had contested 42 in 2015 and won two — but its vote share went up from 4.83 per cent to 5.66 per cent, an increase of .83 percentage point, which mainly contributed to the JD(U)s decline of 1.44 percentage point.
The LJP had contested 137 seats this year, fielding most of its candidates against the JD(U), which Chirag Paswan had vowed to oust from the power.
The LJP might not have succeeded in doing exactly that, but it leaves the JD(U) a dented political force and a distant third in terms of not only seats but also clout.
NDA allies Vikassheel Insaan Party also scored a strike rate of 36.4 per cent, winning four of the 11 seats it contested, while the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) won four of the seven seats it contested, at a strike rate of 57.4 per cent. PTI