Flashback 2015: Forgettable year for Modi-led Saffron brigade; BJP suffered series of setbacks
Year 2014 was bumper year for BJP as Prime Minister Narendra Modi led-party humiliated Congress and reduced it to lowest ever tally in the Lok Sabha Polls.
Thereafter this Modi juggernaut maintained its winning streak and registered thumping victory in many state Assembly elections i.e Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand.
But 2015 proved to be a worst year for the Saffron brigade. On electoral pitch, Modi-led BJP flunked completely. Opposition gained back its lost ground while BJP was found struggling.
BJP's nightmares started with Delhi Assembly election where Arvind Kejriwal led AAP routed it. Then, its worst time continued and at the end of the year RJD, JDU led Mahagathbandhan teared it apart.
As a new year beckons, here is analysis of why BJP would like to forget about the year 2015.
BJP had to face humiliation in U.P. Cantonment Board polls(January)
The Modi-led Saffron brigade got first blow in Uttar Pradesh Cantonment Board polls. Elections were held in different parts of the state including Prime Minister's Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh's Lok Sabha seat Lucknow.
Nobody would have believed about the election result till it was declared. Shockingly, all the seven BJP-supported candidates in Varanasi and all its eight nominees in Lucknow lost election.
Imagine only six months before BJP had registered roaring success in both constituencies in Lok Sabha polls. Experts were found saying that Modi magic has started losing its sheen.
AAP routed BJP in Delhi Assembly election(February)
Brimming with confidence, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) halted the Modi juggernaut in the Delhi Assembly elections. The rookie party scored a landslide victory by winning as many as 67 of the 70 seats in Assembly. Modi's Midas touch didn't work and party managed only 3 seats while Congress drew a blank.
BJP lost the game at the hands of AAP because latter managed to outsign it on every fronts. From election strategy to Chief Minister choice and party infighting, BJP never looked strong on election pitch. Moreover para-trooping former IPS officer Kiran Bedi as Chief Ministerial candidate proved to be final nail in the coffin for BJP.
Imagine party's humiliation as BJP's Chief Ministerial face Kiran Bedi herself lost election by more than 2,000 votes. Bedi could not defend BJP's stronghold of Krishna Nagar which was long held by party veteran Harsh Vardhan.
All big stalwarts from BJP and Congress were defeated by AAP candidates. Those who bit the electoral dust included BJP leaders Jagdish Mukhi, Ramvir Singh Bidhuri and Krishna Tirath who had defected from Congress on the eve of elections and Congress leaders AK Walia, Harun Yusuf, Chaudhury Prem Singh and Raj Kumar Chouhan, who are all ministers and Mahabal Mishra, a former MP.
UP panchayat polls(October)
It looked like nothing was working for the party in this year. Bad nightmares continue to haunt it. In panchayat polls, BJP-supported candidates lost 40 of the 48 seats. One will be surprise to know that BJP's candidate was defeated even in Varanasi's Jayapur, the village adopted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.In Jayapur, BJP candidate Arun Singh was defeated by BSP's Ramesh Tiwari.
BJP was struggling to defend its honour in home minister Rajnath Singh's constituency Lucknow too. Party managed to win around 20 of 58 wards in Lucknow and just about a dozen of 56 seats in Deoria, Kalraj Mishra's constituency.
BJP's defeat in Bihar (November)
Nitish Kumar, Lalu Yadav -led Grand Alliance trounced BJP-led NDA in Bihar polls. BJP only managed only 53 seats despite Modi did maximum number of rallies ever by any Prime Minister in state election.
It is being said that negative campaign jeopardized BJP's fate. Intolerance controversy, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's quota comment and Modi's aggressive attack on Nitish, known for bringing development in the State, took toll on the party.
Bihar assembly election which was termed as "mother of all elections" threw many surprises. Nobody had inkling that Lalu Yadav who had negative image among people will get such number of seats. Lalu's RJD won 80 seats out of 100 seats, it contested. Both of his sons also passed the litmus test and won in their constituencies.
Congress too regained its lost confidence after rises from the ashes in the election.
Congress, that was almost decimated in most of the states, where assembly elections were previously held, claimed a surprising winning streak of 27 seats. It contest on 41 seats.