This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Biranchi Narayan Acharya. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

3 Mistakes In 3 Phases: How Tejashwi Yadav Missed The Bus In Bihar

More from Biranchi Narayan Acharya

When I disagreed with the opinion polls on the Bihar Assembly election (C-Voter predicted NDA to win 160 seats and CSDS predicted 133-143 seats for NDA) through my article on this platform, many of my friends appreciated my logic but cautioned me that I perhaps underestimate the Modi-Magic. The good thing was that the C-Voter supremo Yashwant Deshmukh appreciated my logic.

Image provided by the author.

Then, the exit poll came after the voting ended. It gave a completely different picture than that of the opinion polls. Except for Sudarshan, all others gave MGB an advantage and a couple of polls even predicted MGB sweeping the Bihar election. I was again asked by my friends for an analysis of the exit poll.

Except for the two outlier polls, the rest of the exit polls indicated a tough fight. I relied upon C-Voter’s data which predicted NDA- 104-128 and MGB 108-131. That means either of the two coalitions could win. NDA could win only if the caveat, that I had given in my previous article, came true. I’ll mention it here again.

‘The only caveat is that sometimes, pro-BJP voters in a dissent mode don’t vote. In such a case, there could be low turn-out and because GDSF (Grand Democratic Secular Front, which is an alliance of many small parties) may eat-away sizable vote shares of MGB, it will make NDA win the majority. This would also enable Nitish Kumar to retain power albeit with a lesser mandate which could officially make JDU as a smaller partner to BJP in Bihar.”

Then the final result went in favour of NDA with 125 seats and MGB was restricted to 110 seats only. However, I think this election could have been won by Tejashwi Yadav had he not committed some cardinal mistakes. Which ones? Read on!

Here are the phase-wise evaluations.

First Phase: Nitish’s Anti-Incumbency

A total of 71 seats were contested in this first phase. The voter turnout was 54%. It’s not low compared to Bihar’s electoral history. Nitish Kumar was suffering huge anti-incumbency and LJP was really hurting JDU and to some extent BJP also. The result also spoke the same. MGB got a huge 47 seats (RJD-31 Cong-9 and CPI-ML-7) whereas NDA trailed with just 22 seats. (BJP-12, JDU-6, and HAM-S-4). MGB was way ahead and NDA was trailing measurably.

Second Phase: How BJP-NDA Changed Strategy To Turn The Tables

In this phase, there were 94 seats. The voter turn-out was also 54.64%. NDA knew that it had lost the first phase. Thus, the strategy changed. Narendra Modi took over the charge of campaigning and Nitish Kumar’s photo vanished from the posters.

However, that wasn’t enough to defeat a rushing MGB. But then Tejaswi committed a cardinal mistake.

Not only did he allow Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Modi bashing’ campaigns but he also took part in attacking Narendra Modi. In the 2015 Bihar election, Nitish Kumar showed the way in how to defeat Narendra Modi.

The formula is simple. Don’t attack Narendra Modi. Attack the state leader only. Because like ‘Ram-Naam’ is bigger than Lord Ram himself, ‘Modi’s persona is bigger than Modi himself.

That’s why not only Nitish Kumar refrained to attack Narendra Modi but also restricted Rahul Gandhi’s campaign in Bihar. That gave dividend to MGB in 2015. (Then Nitish and Lalu united to defeat Modi led BJP)

The attack on Nitish Kumar was alright. But the blistering attack on Narendra Modi angered the voters who appreciate Narendra Modi and BJP but are disappointed with Nitish Kumar. Thus, such voters who were giving their votes to LJP in the first phase started giving back to JDU.

Also, Chirag Paswan gave a statement about jailing Nitish if he’s found guilty of corruption. That stance really irritated people who were even disappointed with Nitish Kumar. Well, Nitish Kumar may be facing anti-incumbency but no one agrees that he did anything for which he will have to go to jail. So LJP hurting JDU suddenly stopped from the second phase onward. The result of the second phase too is then self-explanatory.

NDA got 51 seats whereas MGB got 42 seats. Frankly, the lead of (51-42) 9 seats wasn’t enough for NDA to cover the backlog of the first phase. But the third phase became a water-loo for Tejaswi’s immature decisions.

Third Phase: A Waterloo For Tejashwi’s Immature Decisions

The voter turn-out was 57.58%, the highest in the three phases. As I had noted in my caveat, if Grand Democratic Secular Front (GDSF) eats away MGB’s vote, then NDA would win. The result showed that.

GDSF took 5 seats in this phase (overall six seats) but seriously dented the prospects of MGB. NDA won 52 seats whereas MGB was restricted to just 21 seats. In any state election, the importance of smaller parties is always there. Despite a dominant party in UP, BJP has a coalition with Apna Dal.

In Bihar too, NDA had a coalition with VIP and HAM-S, who gave 8 important seats for achieving the majority. Tejashwi gave away 70 seats to a depleting Congress but didn’t accommodate smaller parties. Two of them came to the NDA fold and the rest (RLSP, SBSP, JPS, and SJDD) formed an alliance with AIMIM and BSP. All four parties couldn’t win a single seat, but they hurt MGB a lot.

Those small parties became instrumental for AIMIM to win 5 seats and BSP one seat. The point is simple- Tejashwi Yadav could have been a bit mature while accommodating smaller parties.

Thus, I would say it very clearly that Tejashwi Yadav just missed the bus because of some cardinal mistakes he shouldn’t have committed. What’s your opinion?

Featured image source: Parwaz Khan/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
You must be to comment.
  1. Satish Khairwal

    I appreciate the detailed observation about mistakes which should be avoided but i have another viewpoint about this whole election since compaign till result. In my opinion this election start with the Tejasvi and end with Tejasvi. Tejasvi successful filled that vaccum created after Lalu and Nitish era. We should not ignor that opposition couldn’t make the ‘Lalu’s so called jungle raj’ an issue just because the Tejasvi counter strategic moves.He also established himself without any help from any of allies or dynasty of his father. Earlier he held the position of Deputy CM as Lalu’s son but in this election he changed this narrative.Now Tejasvi is undisputed Leader of Bihar irrespective of the fact that he couldn’t get chief minister position. Also i find him one of most successful leader among second generation of family run political parties of entire country. So i find this election as a big victory of Tejasvi Yadav irrespective of said mistakes.

More from Biranchi Narayan Acharya

Similar Posts

By Ritwik Trivedi

By Bashiruddin Faruki

By Ehaab

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below