As the election campaign rolled out, and even before the bugle was sounded by the Election Commission, the upcoming Bihar assembly elections began showing their effects at the national level. Some observations:
- Against his grain, Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolled back his government’s policy on land acquisition and let the related ordinance lapse. It would have been suicidal to be seen as anti-farmer in an election-bound state that is predominantly agricultural. This steep climbdown is the first adverse brush with reality for a government beholden to India Incorporated for its ascent to power. It has serious policy implications at the national level.
- The Modi government had to concede some ground to ex-servicemen on the one-pension-one-rank issue when they threatened to campaign against the BJP in Bihar. This shows that, despite all exhibitions of machismo on part of Modi, he is unable to hold his ground on Bihar.
- Despite a slight fall in the wholesale price, the central government chose to increase...