Nitish set for 3rd term, Grand Alliance to get 2/3rd majority

Nitish set for 3rd term, Grand Alliance to get 2/3rd majority

Nitish set for 3rd term, Grand Alliance to get 2/3rd majority

The grand alliance is all set to score a landslide victory with nearly a two-thirds majority to give Nitish Kumar a third term in power after decimating the BJP-led alliance in the high-stakes assembly elections in Bihar.

The JDU-RJD-Congress alliance was leading in 166 out of the 243 seats, much more than the half-way mark of 122. The JD (U) alone was leading in 71 seats while the RJD headed by Lalu Prasad was up in 74 seats. The Congress was leading in 21 seats.

On the rival side, the NDA was ahead in 66 seats. While the leader of the alliance BJP was ahead in 59, its partners HAM (secular) was leading in 3 seats and RLSP and LJP were ahead in two each.

CPI(ML-L) was leading in three seats and independents in four as per the trends available on 240 seats.

As the grand alliance surged ahead, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had put up an aggressive campaign addressing over 30 rallies, called up Kumar to congratulate him on the poll victory.

"Had a telephone conversation with Shri @nitishkumar & congratulated him on the victory," Modi tweeted.

Immediately thereafter, Kumar tweeted, "Just received a phone call from the Prime Minister congratulating me...thank you Modiji."

BJP chief Amit Shah also congratulated Kumar and Lalu on the massive victory.
"Our good wishes to the new    government to take Bihar on the path of development," he said.

"We respect the mandate of the people of Bihar... I congratulate Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav on their victory in Bihar Assembly elections," the BJP chief tweeted.

While Nitish Kumar himself did not contest the elections, Lalu is barred from contesting because of his conviction in a corruption case. His sons Tejasvi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav were leading in Raghopur and Mahua seats while former Chief Minister and BJP ally Jitan Ram Manjhi was trailing in one of the two constituencies he contested.

In Imamganj (reserved seat) Manjhi of HAM is leading over JD(U) rival Uday Narayan Chaudhary by 3,735 votes.

Initially, many television channels had projected the NDA to be in the lead.

In the last assembly polls in 2010, the JDU had won 115 seats while BJP won in 91 when both parties had an alliance. RJD had got 24 and Congress 5, contesting separately.

A significant outcome of the Bihar polls was the comeback staged by Lalu Prasad who once lorded over the state but was pushed to the margins after the 2010 assembly elections when the NDA under incumbent Kumar won an astounding four-fifth majority.
He also had to face the setback in the form of conviction in a corruption case which barred him from contesting.

With NDA losing badly in Bihar, rumblings began in the alliance, including within the BJP, with calls for introspection and analysis.

BJP MP from the state R K Singh, who had criticised the ticket distribution before the polls, maintained that "it is not a question of thinking but a fact. Go and check up. People who were chargesheeted for crimes like dacoity were given tickets. That is not something which I expected from my party.

"There should be introspection. There should be examination of what went wrong."
Asked who should be held responsible for the defeat, whether national leadership or the state, he said the state leadership should be held accountable.

He brushed aside a question on the demand for action against him.

Sulking BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha termed the grand alliance's win as "victory of democracy" and took a swipe at the top party brass, saying the issue of "Bihari versus Bahri" has been settled once and for all.

"Congratulations to Laluji & Nitishji for this victory in Bihar elections. We bow before people's mandate. It is the victory of democracy and the people of Bihar. I salute them. It appears that the issue of Bihari vs Bahari (and Bihari Babu's absence) has been settled once and for all," he said in tweets.

"The call of the day is introspection, modified and better strategy, teamwork and coordination in the future. Salute once again to Biharis," Sinha, BJP MP from Patna Sahib, advised the party leadership in another tweet.

NDA ally Shiv Sena also rubbed salt into the wounds of BJP, with its leader Sanjay Raut saying the poll result "denotes decline of a leader" in an apparent reference to Modi and asserted that it will bring in a "new" turn in the country's politics.

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