Narendra Modi 'wave' waning BJP rushes to defence

Written by PTI | Patna | Updated: Aug 27 2014, 00:46am hrs
Bihar BJP today said the Assembly by-poll results that went in favour of RJD-JD(U)-Congress alliance was not a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"The party did not seek votes in his (Narendra Modi's) name. Moreover, the elections were fought on local issues," senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said.

"We cannot compare Lok Sabha polls with these local polls. Can we compare national level things with what is happening at municipal corporation here" Modi, leader of opposition in Legislative Council, told reporters.

To a question whether some senior BJP leaders wanted tickets for their family members in the by-polls, Modi said he was not aware of it.

He, however, said there could have been mistakes in the selection of candidates.

BJP-led NDA fared poorly in bypoll on 10 seats touted as "semi final" before Assembly election next year by winning just four seats. Rival alliance of JD (U), RJD and Congress captured six seats. BJP had won on six seats in 2010.

Only three months ago, BJP riding the Narendra Modi wave had won 31 out of 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar and RJD and JD(U) were routed.

Sushil Modi, who led party campaign in the bypoll in absence of national leaders, said by-elections were contested on local issues with local candidates, as well as, caste and social equations being dominant in them.

Saying that the results could not be taken as "Mandal" politics scoring a win over the "Kamandal" politics as being made out in the media, Modi said three out of four winners of BJP belong to the backward castes, while four out of the six winning candidates of the secular are from forward castes.

A close analysis of the results would reveal how BJP fared well in the rural areas but slipped in the urban areas, the former Deputy Chief Minister said.

"We clinched Narkatiyaganj and Mohania seats, where we had lagged during the Lok Sabha polls. Keep it in mind that Mohania belonged to a sitting MLA of Nitish Kumar," said Modi.

The senior leader, however, was quick to add that he was not justifying the defeat of BJP.

The party was analysing the "shortcomings" and "backstabbing" that led to poor performance, he said without elaborating.