Very fresh in May 2014, Mr Modi brought the BJP's to a fantastic tally of 31 of Bihar's 40 parliamentary seats. Today's the mood of the voters tells other story.
Soon after the Lok Sabha defeat, Nitish Kumar, the ex-Chief Minister of Bihar did waste no time to claim responsibility for the humiliating debacle and resigned. He introduced another leader from his party and went for a novel idea to knit an alliance with Lalu Yadav- his long time political adversary.
The Congress played safe and accepted to be a junior partner of the alliance. BJP has thrown down the gauntlet taking its tricks of communal and divisive politics as a guarantee of victory; and 'the new secular entity' picked up the gauntlet. The election war was in its earnest.
One can always blame Nitish for hypocrisy as he was an active partner of NDA alliance of 17 years. However, he had never accepted Narendra Modi as NDA leader when BJP picked Mr Modi as the party's prime ministerial candidate.
Nitish Kumar had been vocal and unrelenting critic of Mr Modi since then. He had been charging him with deliberately allowing the communal riots in 2002. Lalu Prasad had been consistent in his criticism of RSS, BJP and NaMo. Nitish, it seemed at that time, had made a miscalculation.
In politics, nothing is permanent. In the latest
campaign Mr Kumar appeared on stage with Lalu, allowing the latter's
projection as the main draw and the two Bihar veterans have teamed on
the premise that they will consolidate the Muslim-Yadav-Backward
True, the outcome of these by-elections will not affect the equations at the Center but it signifies the rise of challenges for RSS and Modi brand of politics in coming by-elections in other states.