How world is reading BJP’s defeat in Bihar polls

RSTV Bureau

Bihar-PM-ModiThe global media too has reacted to the rout of the BJP-led NDA in Bihar Assembly election. In what was billed as the crucial polls for the BJP, several prints across the world termed the defeat as “most significant domestic setback” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Some of them even opined that PM Modi’s “vote-winning” abilities were on the wane.

“India’s ruling party has conceded defeat in a provincial election seen as a test of the vote-winning abilities and political strategy of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi,” UK’s prominent daily The Guardian said.

It further added that defeat was “most significant domestic setback for Modi since he won a crushing victory in a general election in the emerging economic power last year, after a campaign promising rapid development, modernisation and opportunity combined with a defence of conservative cultural and social values.”

“The failure to win Bihar for his party will hinder Modi’s push to pass crucial economic reforms because he needs to win such elections to gain full control of parliament,” the Guardian said.

Analysis drawn by the UK press bears significance, especially, in the wake of Prime Minister Modi’s first ever visit to UK this week.

UK’s public-service broadcaster BBC too dubbed the defeat as “major setback” for the ruling party and the Prime Minister in particular. “Mr Modi won a convincing victory in last year’s national elections, but this poll was seen as a referendum on his economic programme,” the BBC said.

Modi_gen 1While in United States, The New York Times in its story ‘Modi concedes party’s defeat in Assembly elections for key State’ said the Prime Minister “suffered a serious political setback” and it deprives the BJP of a “vital location” from which to spread its political dominance into northeast India including the large state of West Bengal.

The Wall Street Journal too felt BJP’s loss to rival JD(U)-RJD-Congress coalition is a “major blow” that could undermine PM Modi’s economic agenda.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party suffered a defeat in pivotal state elections, a political blow that could make it harder for his government to move ahead with its economic agenda,” the financial daily reported.

Another mainstream print, The Washington Post carried “India’s ruling party accepts loss in crucial state elections” in its headline.

Even China kept a close tap on the performance of the ruling party in Bihar. State-run Xinhua news agency commented that Prime Minister Modi’s BJP suffered a “major jolt in a key regional election in the eastern state of Bihar, in what was perceived as a referendum on his economic programme.”

Quoting experts, the report added, “result of Bihar polls clearly indicate a personal blow to Modi as he was the face of the party in the election campaign and it was a referendum on his developmental agenda.”

The press in Pakistan too had reserved space for the results in Bihar polls with leading newspaper like Dawn, The News and Lahore based Daily Times carrying the write-ups in their front pages.

(With inputs from the PTI)