The BJP-led coalition’s defeat in Bihar is “arguably the first good news to come from India in the last few months”, a Pakistani newspaper said on Monday.
The News International also said in an editorial that the election result “is a timely reminder for the BJP that fuelling the politics of hate is not a strategy that will work in the long term”.
It said India-Pakistan relations had been hit in recent times by violence in Kashmir, cross-border firing, issues related to beef and Muslims, and protests against Pakistani singers.
“There was little surprise then that when Bihar went to vote, neighbouring Pakistan was more than usually interested,” it said.
Another newspaper, Dawn, published the news of Grand Alliance victory with the header: Bihar steals Modi’s firecrackers. The newspaper says Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cow politics was put out to pasture on Sunday as the impoverished state of Bihar gave a resounding verdict against the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) campaign to pit Hindus against Muslims over beef eating.
“Midway, however, his party got nervous and, shooting from the hip, claimed that a defeat for Mr Modi would be a victory for Pakistan,” it said.
The News International says the Bharatiya Janata Party’s defeat showed that despite coming into power on the basis of a powerful economic narrative, “within a year the BJP-led government has begun to alienate key segments of the country.
“The defeat in Bihar sets the stage for the next four years of campaigning, with anti-BJP alliance politics – as tried out in Bihar – likely to become a key strategy for opposition parties,” it said.
The BJP defeat has also shattered the aura of invincibility built around Modi, the daily said.
“The fact that Modi led the campaign in Bihar, the loss will be considered a personal defeat for the prime minister.”
The Grand Alliance of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress defeated the BJP-led four-party alliance in the Bihar assembly elections on Sunday.