It would have been a YES, had there not been some more important reasons. At least two things that made these by-elections very exciting!
First…after the spectacular victory of BJP in recently concluded Lok Sabha elections there was really a deadly silence among its rivals like Congress, JDU, RJD etc., courtesy the near rout shock wave.
There was a sting of "demoralization" throbbing them from inside. Particularly for JDU and Nitish Kumar in Bihar, by-elections in 10 seats were like the only hope to revive there existence…just like dubte ko tinke ka sahara. May be that was the reason why they worked so hard even didn't hesitate to become super opportunist for the mere by-elections. Same logic can be extended to the Congress in particular and UPA in general. It was just like quenching an intense thirst.
Second…the popularity of Narendra Modi. At the moment Modi seems to be invincible. Particularly the recent booing episodes were really like biting nails for Congress and its UPA partners who are trying hard to prove it as plotted by BJP. It was necessary for them to prove their survival at any cost. So somehow these by-elections were the only available options at present for them to get some ground to tackle "Modi Magic."
However as the results are out, getting into the various scrutiny of different political analysts, two major things are coming out:
One …some believe it was a litmus test for the alliance JDU-RJD in Bihar, who were arc rivals before. The shock wave of near rout in general elections compelled them to bury their enmity. Along with the Congress this uncommon opportunistic alliance was successful to stop BJP juggernaut. It may further create a greater future for non-NDA parties in Indian politics.
Second…some feel that it was a referendum for Modi-led NDA at the Centre for their three months performance, which was not that impressive. They even don't hesitate to exaggeratedly term it as a jolt or shock to NDA. Hence the inference is, may be the Modi Magic is fading.
However I don't concur with both the above analysis as the reality is very different. Because I feel, by-elections are by-elections and they often go in favor of the ruling government. It is very rare to find a by-election that not privileged ruling party.
Secondly, there has been a very low voter turnout around 47% in Bihar. So how can it be taken as the mood of the people? Even how can it be a referendum to Modi's performance at the Centre?
Thirdly, it must be noted that no central leadership campaigned in Bihar from BJP. In fact looking at the minimal resources used by the BJP in these elections, four seats with still number one party in Bihar is not at all bad. So isn't it too early to celebrate Nitish-Lalu alliance?
Bypoll results may not necessarily be same for future elections. Neither the preparation will be the same. So it is too early to give verdict on "whether the Modi Magic is still prevailing or not."
One thing I must admit here that none can take public for granted even if it is Modi, BJP or RSS. Elections are won or lost at booth level. So ground work is always the most important thing to win elections. So it is better to for them to take it as a wakeup call.
However democracy is a game of balance. It functions very well when there are more competent players with intense competition as the real winner are at the end its people only!
At least these by-election results may boost moral of opposition to fight with unbeatable Modi in particular and BJP in general.