A little past noon on Nov. 08, Narendra Modi conceded what is, so far, the biggest political setback in his prime ministerial career. “Had a telephone conversation with Shri @nitishkumar & congratulated him on the victory,” Modi tweeted.
The Indian prime minister isn’t exactly used to sending such congratulatory messages to political opponents. Since his four terms as the chief minister of Gujarat and a landslide victory in the 2014 general elections, Modi and his electoral machine have made a habit of securing decisive mandates, with the exception of Delhi earlier this year. The defeat in Bihar has doubtlessly halted that juggernaut.