Three months after storming to power at the centre, the BJP, for second time running, took a knock in the state by-polls losing 4-6 to the RJD- JD(U)- Congress combine in Bihar and yielding two strongholds to the Congress in MP and Karnataka.

Out of the 18 seats in Punjab, Bihar, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh for which bypolls were held, Congress and its allies have won 10 seats to BJPs 8. This shows a clear downward trend for the BJP, with its vote-share percentage dipping by 7% compared to the Loksabha elections.

Incidentally, in all these assembly constituencies, the recently-conducted Lok Sabha elections had given phenomenal leads to BJP.

With the by-poll results, one can gauge the mood of voters. They have slowly but surely started to realise reality. Facts count not promises. In the history of Independent India, no ruling party has ever lost by-elections conducted within 3 months of election.

Elections are an exercise of faith for the Indian masses. We need to wake up to the fact that it is the masses who decide the fate. The voter today is far more discerning, alert and politically aware. He may be poor in pocket but and he surely knows his mind.

Implicit in the outcome is another message – that state elections may be a different story from the Loksabha polls. Uttarakhand had delivered a similar message recently.

The Indian voter is clever. He was propelled by the Modi wave in the general election but was equally quick to rebuff the BJP when he realized that the ‘Acche din’ slogan doled out to them was in reality a piped dream.