NAMO- the Winner

Wednesday 04th November 2015 05:50 EST

As the Modi-led National Democratic Alliance and rival Nitish-Lalu's Grand Alliance lock horns for majority in the ongoing Bihar elections, loosely using terms like 'Jungle Raj' and 'Terrorists', the one thing that unfailingly comes to notice is that the NDA's defeat (though not likely) will come as a major blow to the state. The Bihar elections are expected to play a key role in setting the country's economic tone. Businesses have their money on Modi, whose administration has a favourable majority in the Lok Sabha, but lacks the support in the Upper House. Tanvee Gupta Jain, Macquarie Capital Securities India Ltd., said in a report, “Investors view Bihar state election outcome, GST and power sector reforms as the next key triggers. Even as we believe the outcome shouldn't have any bearing on national government, our interactions with investors suggest that NDA winning a majority in the upcoming state elections would be regarded as a referendum for continuation of pro-reform agenda.”

JP Morgan's chief Asian and emerging market equity strategist, Adrian Mowat said, an NDA defeat will not be taken positively by the markets as it will imply another session of Parliamentary logjam. “We believe a positive result herein will be important for the NDA Government, not only from a sentiment and confidence point of view, but also in their efforts to wean a meaningful part of the opposition to their point of view on important reforms requiring legislative action,” Bharat Iyer and Bijay Kumar at JP Morgan said in a note to their clients. “A potential victory of the NDA will likely be interpreted positively as the government regaining the political and economic reform momentum.” So, one thing is clear, while Modi will still stand undeterred even if he fails to woo the Biharis, the state will stand at a massive loss.

Meanwhile, the fourth phase of Bihar elections on November 2 saw the highest turnout yet with 58 per cent. The Bharatiya Janta Party has renewed confidence as the assessment says the NDA is ahead, though the grand alliance could match in the final round which includes constituencies with a high minority presence.

Continuing the trend, women again outnumbered men in voting, with 60.40 per cent of women voters exercising their franchise, and the figure for men was 54.20 per cent. Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha added average of all the four phases to 55.41 per cent. “In phase one, the turnout was 54.85 per cent. In phase two it was 54.99 per cent and in the third phase the turnout was 54.24 per cent.” Nand Kishore Yadav, leader of the opposition in the ongoing assembly said, “Given the high percentage of polling seen in the fourth phase, it is clear that the BJP-led NDA has come in a position to form government in the state. The combine would win two-thirds of the total seats.”

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