Watch: #BiharResult is a political watershed. Here's why
The Bihar election result is a watershed political event. It marks the end of the so-called Modi Tsunami, which had resulted in several election victories for the BJP over the past year and a half. While its impact had started waning after the party's resounding defeat in Delhi early this year, by the time it reached Bihar, the "wave" seemed to have petered off.
The Bihar result is bound to erode the authority of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He will stay in the top job, but will cease to be the lucky election mascot of the BJP.
His party men will no longer be sure of his ability to lead them to electoral victories in the assembly elections in West Bengal and Assam in 2016, and in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab in 2017. Modi himself will doubt whether he can win the 2019 general election.
Modi will do everything he can to deflect blame for the result. He will reshuffle his cabinet and take decisions to suggest that he is re-energising governance.
However, it is unlikely that his party will give up its agenda of communal polarisation. In all probability, the party will use this strategy in West Bengal, Assam and Uttar Pradesh. The ambient communal temperature in the country is, therefore, unlikely to come down any time soon.
The victory of non-BJP parties in Bihar could potentially spur them to form similar alliances in other poll-bound states, culminating into a larger alliance in time for the 2019 general election. And that election could possibly be a Nitish Kumar vs Modi battle.
The Bihar result will also take a toll on Amit Shah as BJP president. He will have to change his style of functioning and go back to the party's tradition of collective decision-making. This won't be an easy task for someone like him.
However, Modi is unlikely to remove Shah for fear of losing control over the party and to avoid the prospect of a party chief who might stand up to him.
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