Some overenthusiastic BJP workers had burst crackers today morning outside party office in Patna – when early trends suggested that BJP+ was leading – before the sound, smoke and fire was replaced by deathly silence.
The situation was not different in Delhi where the party top brass were left wondering what went wrong. Party president Amit Shah had camped in Patna, Modi addressed close to 30 rallies (with good turnout) but the party lost miserably.
The strong caste combination that came together in the form of Mahagathbandhan, intolerance debate, lack of local leadership may all have contributed to the slide in party's fortunes in the do-or-die battle.
However, the biggest setback for the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the end of the 'Modi aura'. One may argue that it was broken when Arvind Kejriwal won a land slide in Delhi but the fact remains Bihar is politically much more important a loss despite Modi leading from the front.
Narendra Modi's honeymoon in Delhi is clearly over now.
He may have asked for 60 months but the resurgent and young India has limited patience and the 18 months are too much of a time in these times.
Modi has now to deliver and deliver fast. All talk of growing FDI and enhanced image of India abroad means little for the average Indian when he has to even struggle to have a meal of dal roti.
The message is clear, Modi has to perform and perform fast.