NDA keeps Bihar, RJD becomes single-largest party, Congress crashes again
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will form a government in Bihar and Nitish Kumar will get another term at the Chief Minister's office. The results of the closely-fought elections, declared in the early hours of Wednesday, showed BJP handed over Bihar to Kumar, while his own party JD(U) fared poorly. Meanwhile, RJD's road to victory was spoilt by Congress. Here are all the updates.
Counting of votes continued for nearly 15 hours
Three phases of polls and a bitter campaign later, the counting of votes for the 243-seats Assembly began at 8 am yesterday. The process was arduous, with the Election Commission saying it took longer than usual because of a 63% rise in EVMs. By 1:30 pm, merely one crore out of the 4.16 crore votes polled were counted, the EC added.
RJD won all 75 seats it contested, JD(U) won 43
As per the polling body, BJP won 74 seats, out of the 110 it contested. Of the 115 seats it fought on, JD(U) won merely 43 seats. BJP allies VIP and HAM won four seats each. In total, NDA bagged 125 seats, three more than the majority number of 122. RJD became the single-largest party by winning all 75 seats where it fought.
Every major party performed better than Congress
In terms of vote share as well, RJD, led by Tejashwi Yadav, performed well. RJD's vote share is 23.03%, the most for any party. BJP's vote share was 19.5%, followed by JD(U)'s 15.4% and Congress' 9.5%. Congress clearly ruined Yadav's CM dreams by winning just 19 of the 70 seats it contested. Impacted by Congress' feeble performance, the mahagathbandhan settled at 110 seats.
The seat-sharing arrangement could have been more rational: CPI(ML)
Political observers believe had RJD not given in to Congress' seat-share demands, it could have been in a better position. CPI(ML), a constituent of the mahagathbandhan, was blunter. Leader Dipankar Bhattacharya said, "I think at least 50 seats for the Left and 50 seats for the Congress would have probably been a more reasonable distribution of seats. That could have possibly affected the results."
RJD alleged tampering, EC denied claims
Further, the counting of votes was shrouded in controversy after RJD claimed last evening that it "won" 119 seats, but its candidates were not being given winning certificates due to pressure from CM Kumar. Denying the allegations, EC said everything was in order. The top polling body held a virtual press conference at 1 am saying it was working without coercion of any kind.
EC urged patience during unprecedented press conference
BJP's strong performance made up for JD(U)'s poor show
Throughout electioneering, BJP maintained that Kumar will be NDA's CM face, the outcome of the elections, notwithstanding. However, after a dismal performance by JD(U), political corridors are abuzz with speculations that he could be on his way out. BJP emerged as the senior partner in the alliance, for the first time ever, owing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's multiple rallies in the state.
Poor have relied on NDA's mantra: PM Modi
Even as counting was underway, PM Modi posted congratulatory tweets. "The poor in villages, farmers, laborers, merchants, shopkeepers and every section of Bihar have relied on the NDA's mantra of sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas. I again assure every citizen of Bihar that for the balanced development of every person, every region, we will continue to work with full dedication," he tweeted.
This is a PM Modi, CM Kumar's win: Shah
Despite winning just one seat, Chirag Paswan seemed happy
Separately, Chirag Paswan, whose party LJP got just one seat after fielding 137 candidates, seemed satisfied with the results. "The results have made it clear that people are still enthusiastic about the BJP. This is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's win," Paswan, who left NDA after being miffed with Kumar, tweeted. Notably, LJP's direct fight with JD(U) also contributed to the latter's poor show.