Lalu-Nitish alliance checkmates BJP in Bihar

Last Updated 25 August 2014, 20:37 IST

The grand alliance comprising the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Janata Dal (United) (JD-U) and the Congress fetched rich dividends to Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad as the combine won six of the 10 Bihar Assembly seats which witnessed bypolls on August 21. 

The BJP managed to retain four of the nine seats it contested.  The LJP, a partner of the BJP-led NDA, was in the fray for one seat, but came a cropper.

Conceding defeat, senior BJP leader and chief-ministerial aspirant Sushil Kumar Modi said: “The result is not as per our expectation. But we respect the people’s mandate. Our party will meet soon to find out where we erred.”

JD(U) strongman Nitish Kumar, however, had reasons to smile after a long time. “The bypoll verdict is a clear and decisive mandate that people of this state won’t tolerate divisive politics.” 

“Those who spread falsehood and emerged triumphant during Lok Sabha polls should realise that by making false promises they can’t take the voters for granted,” Nitish said.

 The JD(U) and the RJD had contested four seats each, leaving two for the Congress. The Monday verdict saw RJD candidates romping home at three constituencies:  Moiuddinagar, Rajnagar and Chapra. The JD(U) won Parbatta and Jale, while the Congress emerged triumphant at Bhagalpur. The rest of the four seats — Mohania, Banka, Narkatiaganj and Hajipur — went to the BJP’s kitty.

The result has come as a major morale booster to the “secular leaders” who suffered a drubbing during Lok Sabha elections in May when BJP-led alliance won 31 of the 40 seats in Bihar. A day after the parliamentary poll result was announced, an upset Nitish resigned as chief minister.

On Monday, while he rejoiced the grand alliance’s victory, Lalu Prasad was flown to Mumbai after he complained of heart ailment. Sources quoting his family members said he was well and the check-up in Mumbai was routine.

Meanwhile, Nitish said the alliance would be cemented further and asked all the non-NDA parties to join hands and come under one umbrella to avoid a split in secular votes. “We have 400 days before the next Assembly polls in Bihar. We will ensure that tie-up is firmed up in 2015, too,” averred Nitish.

(Published 25 August 2014, 20:37 IST)

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