Ahead of polling in Munger, the devastating news of police brutality on devotees celebrating Vijaya Dashami surfaced. The high-handedness of the police and the subsequent attempt at a cover-up left a bitter taste in the mouths of people across the political spectrum. Under such circumstances, it was expected that the events of Vijaya Dashami will affect polling for the Bihar Assembly Elections.
The results of the Bihar Assembly Elections are being declared on Tuesday as of the time of writing this report. In order to check whether the Munger shooting, where a Hindu devotee lost his life, affected the prospects of the NDA, we decided to look into the results of the six Assembly Constituencies that fall under Munger Lok Sabha Constituency.
If the Munger shooting did affect people’s voting preferences, then we assessed that the impact wouldn’t be so localised that it impacts only the Munger Assembly Constituency. Hence, we decided to check the results of the six Assembly Constituencies that fall under the Munger Lok Sabha Constituency.
Before we proceed further, it has to be borne in mind that it is currently a fluid situation and the results could change drastically by the end of day. Therefore, our assessment as of now is based on results as they stand as of the time of writing this report. The six Assembly Constituencies under consideration are Munger, Jamalpur, Surajgarh, Lakhisarai, Mokama and Barh.
Pranav Kumar, the candidate from the Bharatiya Janata Party, is currently leading comfortably with over 50% of the votes. Avinash Kumar Vidyarthi, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) candidate is trailing by over 4,000 votes with just under 40% of the vote-share. Other candidates are nowhere in the picture. The RJD had won this seat in 2015.
In Jamalpur, the Congress candidate, Ajay Kumar Singh, is leading the JDU candidate, Shailesh Kumar, by under 2,000 votes. The LJP candidate, Durgesh Kumar Singh is playing a spoiler with well over 7% of the votes currently although it is not yet clear whose party he is spoiling. Is the LJP splitting the anti-incumbency vote against JDU or is he splitting the votes that otherwise would have gone to JDU? That remains unclear.
The JDU had won this seat in 2015 but the circumstances were vastly different as it was in an alliance with the Congress then.
The LJP is playing the role of a massive spoiler in Surajgarha. The RJD and LJP is separated by less than a thousand votes and both trail the JDU by less than 5,000 votes. The vote-shares of the JDU, RJD and LJP stand at 30.4%, 26.99% and 26.13% as of the time of writing this report. The RJD had won this seat comfortably in 2015 with a 30,000 margin under vastly different circumstances.
Vijay Kumar Sinha, the BJP, leads the Congress candidate, Amaresh Kumar, by a margin of over 4,000 votes in Lakhisarai as of the time of writing this report. The BJP has a vote-share of 35.82% while the Congress has a vote-share of 30.65%. Two independents have a combined vote-share of over 17% in the state. The BJP had won this seat in 2015.
Anant Kumar Singh, the RJD candidate, is comfortably ahead in Mokama with over 54% of the vote-share as of the time of writing this report while the JDU is lagging behind at 22.88%. The LJP candidate has a vote-share of a meagre 12.34%. Anant Kumar Singh had won the seat as an independent in 2015.
The BJP and Congress are going neck and neck in Barh with the Congress candidate leading by a margin of less than a thousand votes. Karn Veer Singh Yadav, an independent candidate, has a vote-share of over 20%. The fate of this Assembly Constituency is far from decided. The BJP had won this seat in 2015.
Did the Munger shooting dampen NDA prospects in Bihar Assembly Elections 2020?
Thus, as things stand, the Mahagathbandhan is leading in 3 of the 6 Assembly Constituencies that fall under the Munger Lok Sabha Constituency. Therefore, it cannot be said with any degree of certainty that the Munger shooting did negatively impact the prospects of the NDA. Furthermore, the BJP and JDU are both contesting 3 seats each among these 6 constituencies.
Between them, as things currently stand, the BJP is winning 2 and losing one with a close margin where as the JDU is winning one and losing two. Thus, as of now, there is no clear evidence of impact of the Munger shooting.