BIHAR POLLS: NDA maintains lead over Mahagatbandhan


KS Shankar/ IHN-NN

NEW DELHI: The National Democratic Alliance on Tuesday maintained an edge over the RJD-led Grand Alliance, (Mahagatbandhan) winning four seats and leading in 126 other seats as counting for the Bihar assembly elections progressed slowly. A final word on who won how many seats will take time to be announced.

The RJD, leading the opposition five-party alliance, has won two seats and along with its allies was leading in 110 other constituencies, as per an announcement by the Election Commission.

EC officials said over two crore votes were counted by late evening, of the nearly 4.16 crore votes polled in the three-phase elections. Out of the nearly 7.3 crore voters, 57.09 per cent had cast votes in the polls.

Latest indication was that the NDA – of the BJP and the JDU –was leading the table, having won or leading in 125 seats, three more than the number required for a simple majority in the 243-member assembly. The RJD and its partners have won or were leading in 108 seats — 17 fewer than the ruling coalition. RJD’s main allies are the Congress and the left parties.

The 31-year-old Tejashwi Yadav, the Mahagatbandhan’s chief ministerial candidate, was leading in his previously held Raghopur, and so is his elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav in Hasanpur.

NDA ally and HAM leader Jitan Ram Manjhi is also leading after trailing for a while in Imamganj. Another NDA partner Mukesh Sahni of the Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP) is also leading in Simri Bakhtiyarpur.

A host of Bihar ministers including Nand Kishore Yadav, Brijendra Prasad Yadav and Binod Narayan Jha were leading but Shailesh Kumar was trailing. Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav of Jan Adhikar Party, a multiple term Lok Sabha member, was trailing from his pocket borough Madhepura. Luv Sinha, the Congress nominee for Bankipur seat in Patna and son of actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha was also trailing.

 Going by the trends, the BJP looks set to emerge as the single-largest party having won two seats and leading in 74 others. Its senior ally, the JD(U) of Nitish Kumar, has won two seats and its candidates were leading in other 39 places.

The HAM and VIP, the other two allies of the NDA, were ahead in three and five constituencies respectively. The RJD has won two seats and its nominees were leading in 68 others, giving a close competition to the BJP to emerge at the top of the table. Ally Congress is leading in 19 seats.

The Magatbandhan’s Left partners looked set for a resurgence, with the CPI-ML leading in 13 places, while the CPI and the CPI-M in three each.

The LJP, whose walking out of the NDA in Bihar just ahead of the polls, had set off talks that it upset the ruling alliance’s applecart, was down in the dumps with its candidate leading in just one seat. –IHN-NN


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