Bihar elections: NDA crosses half-way mark, BJP emerges single-largest party
A long-time dream of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was fulfilled on Tuesday after it emerged as the single-largest party in Bihar, where counting of votes began at 8 am. As per Election Commission, BJP is leading on 73 seats, while its ally JD(U) was ahead on 49 seats. Meanwhile, NDA has crossed the half-way mark as it is leading on 128 seats.
RJD, which gave a tough competition to NDA, was leading when early trends trickled in, but as the day progressed, the party suffered. At the time of publishing, the party was leading on 67 seats. Its ally, Congress, was ahead on just 20 seats, while Left took the lead on 18 seats. Mahagathbandhan took lead on 105 seats. LJP is leading on two seats.
The latest trends brought bad news for RJD, where the celebration had started after exit polls' prediction on November 7. Most claimed that Tejashwi Yadav would unseat Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, orchestrating RJD's return after a decade and a half. Despite BJP's strong performance, RJD remained hopeful. Its supporters relied on EVMs from rural areas, claiming those votes would catapult the party to power.
As BJP surged ahead in the seesaw battle, doubts were cast on Kumar's CM candidature. If JD(U) gets fewer seats, BJP would be in a position to place its leader on the CM chair. Commenting on the performance, leader Kailash Vijayvargiya said, "We were confident there will be a BJP win. PM Modi's image sailed us through. A negative campaign damaged JD(U) a little."
The mood in JD(U)'s camp was in sharp contrast to that of BJP's. Earlier today, spokesperson KC Tyagi appeared to be conceding defeat. "We welcome people's decision. We were not defeated by RJD or Tejashwi Yadav but the nation's curse (COVID-19)," he told NDTV. Notably, the coronavirus pandemic, and the lockdown, had sparked job losses in Bihar.