2015 Bihar Assembly Elections, Congress contested 41 seats and won 27 seats, winning 66% of the seats it contested. On the other side, BJP contested 157 seats and won 53 seats, winning 34% of the seats it contested.
This time, in 2020 Bihar Assembly Elections, Congress contested 70 seats and won 19 seats, winning 27% of the seats it contested. Whereas, BJP contested 110 seats and won 74 seats, winning 67% of the seats it contested.
This shows the reversal of fortunes for both the national parties — BJP and Congress. While Congress’ seats contested to seats won conversion ratio has crashed, BJP has shown a spectacular jump. At the same time, both the regional parties have seen a drop in its seats contested to seats won ratio. JDU’s conversion ratio was 70% in 2015 elections, and fell to 37% in 2020 elections, while RJD’s conversion ratio fell from 79% to 52%.
This implies that Mahagathbandhan won handsomely in 2015 only and only on the back of Susashan Babu i.e. Nitish Kumar. This time RJD and Congress couldnt cut the ice due to lack of a brand and leadership to portray. Ofcourse they managed to retain captive voter base of Yadavs and Muslims and some backward castes.
The case of JDU losing vote share is obvious because LJP contested against JDU. This vote cutting impacted JDU badly and division of votes benefited RJD-Congress and other parties. Ofcourse, LJP couldnt gain much because of its limited voter base, but was able to hurt JDU by diverting backward caste votes away from JDU.
I dont think there is much to cheer for Congress – RJD in this elections. They need to introspect whether they can really sustain their performance in forthcoming elections by expanding their voter base and winning trust and confidence of the voters beyond the castes they are heavily dependent upon?
Owaisi is other catalyst and element that needs to be carefully observed and studied. Muslim votes shifted to Owaisi’s AIMIM hurting RJD-Congress alliance. This has huge implications. This is a warning that Muslim votes cannot be taken for granted, and Muslims who are considered to be captive voter base of secular parties would shift their allegience to any other party – especially a Muslim Party, if they feel that their interests are best served by a Muslim Party. With experience, Muslims have realised that secular parties have only used their votes to get in power, and Muslims blindly voted for secular parties to defeat BJP. However now realisation is dawning within Muslims that if they have to elect someone to keep BJP at bay, then why not vote for Muslim Parties in Muslim majority areas? This is a valid and sensible worldview of Muslims, who always got a raw deal from secular parties in their quest to stop BJP. This is time for Congress and other secular parties dependent on Muslim votes to wake up and smell the coffee.