Modi’s Rallies Worked But the BJP Lost

While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had an overall strike rate of 33% (53 seats out of 160 contested) in the recently concluded Bihar elections, an IndiaSpend analysis has found that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strike rate was 45% (13 out of 29) i.e. success rate of the BJP in constituencies where Modi addressed rallies.

Keeping with their previously tried-and-tested strategy, the BJP chose to project Prime Minister Narendra Modi as their main campaigner and did not project a Chief Ministerial candidate. With the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) securing two-thirds majority in Bihar assembly, the BJP has suffered the second consecutive electoral loss this year. Though the BJP won 53 seats, did Modi’s rallies have an impact in the constituencies he campaigned in?

Muzaffarpur was won by the BJP where Modi addressed two rallies (July 25th and October 30th). Starting from the Parivartan (change) rally Muzaffarpur on July 25, Modi addressed 30 rallies across different parts of Bihar with the last ones on November 2 – Darbhanga, Purnia and Forbesganj.

The effect of Modi's rallies in Bihar, 2015. Source: IndiaSpend

Except Jahanabad and Darbhanga rural, the main contest across all constituencies covered by Modi was between the BJP or a Grand Alliance constituent (Janata Dal (U), Congress or Rashtriya Janata Dal). The highest and the lowest margin of victory in these 29 constituencies was secured by the Congress – 44,311 in Bikram and 2,320 in Bettiah.


  1. The data on rallies have been taken from the BJP’s official website.
  2. Modi’s rally was in Darbhanga town but Darbhanga rural (separate constituency) has also been included.

Devanik Saha is a freelance journalist based in Delhi.

IndiaSpend.org is a data-driven, public-interest journalism non-profit.


    (1) Despite statistics
    which say that success rate in constituencies wherein our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra
    Modi held election meetings, I believe that our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s
    involvement in Bihar campaigns could have been limited to just a few meetings. (2)
    I feel that any PM who gets involved in his party’s campaign for state Assembly
    election should not forget that he is country’s PM and not just a
    representative of his political party. Hence
    I wish to say that in Bihar’s campaigns in 2015, Mr. Modis’ criticism of BJP’s opponents
    during campaigns could have been far more sophisticated than it actually was.
    Further, one may feel that PM’s ‘over-exposure’ did not fetch any great benefit
    to BJP, though its share of votes increased substantially.(3) Lastly, I wish to
    know whether political parties should have their own ‘code of conduct’ as
    regards Prime Minister’s involvement in campaigns for Assembly election.