Bihar Assembly Election 2020: Did Modi push propel NDA in tight poll race?

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has managed a simple majority in what was a very closely contested election in Bihar. However, the difference in the performance of the two major alliance partners, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal (United) will mean that the balance of power changes significantly within the NDA.

The BJP and the JD(U) have won 73 and 43 seats in the new assembly.

The difference is in keeping with their strike rates; seats won as a share of seats contested. This number is 66% for the BJP and just 33% for the JD(U). Did the BJP save the elections for the NDA? One way to look at this question is the performance of the NDA in assembly constituencies (ACs) where Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed election rallies. Modi addressed 12 rallies during the campaign. HT has looked at the performance of the NDA in 110 ACs which are in the 12 districts where these rallies took place. A simple analysis suggests that the NDA’s performance is much better in these regions. The NDA’s strike rate in these 110 ACs is 56.4%.

This is significantly higher than the strike rate of 48.9% in the remaining 133 ACs. However, a more nuanced analysis suggests otherwise.

As has been pointed out, the NDA has performed significantly better in the second and third phases of the polls compared to the first phase. Its strike rate is just 29.6% in the 71 ACs that went to the polls in the first phase. This increases to 53.2% and 66.7% in the 94 and 78 ACs that went to the polls in the second and third phase.

A phase-wise break-up of the NDA’s performance in the 110 ACs in districts where Modi addressed rallies for the NDA follows a similar pattern. A comparison of NDA performance in ACs in each phase where the Prime Minister addressed and did not address rallies shows that these rallies generated relatively greater tailwinds for the NDA in the third phase compared to the first and second phases.

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