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Analysis of the Legislative Assembly Elections in Bihar, India

Analysis by Anna Juhos.

One would assume that legislative assembly elections in one of India’s poorest state, Bihar cannot pose a challenge for the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which won a landslide last May, acquiring 336 out of the 543 seats of the Lok Sabha, the Lower House of the Indian Parliament. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development mantra and personal charisma did not seem to be convincing enough for the state’s predominantly Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Extremely Backward Classes (EBCs), and Muslim vote bank. Held between 12 October and 5 November 2015, the Bihar assembly elections resulted in the victory of the incumbent Chief Minister (CM) Nitish Kumar-led ‘Grand Alliance’ by winning the majority with 178 seats out of 243. In contrast, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies got only 58, while the Left Front, led by Sitaram Yechuri’s Communist Party of India (CPI (M)) won only 3 seats.

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