The results of the Bihar assembly elections, held in three phases, are being announced today. Early trends coming about two hours after counting began are showing a neck-and-neck race, with the National Democratic Alliance clearly in the lead. The Rashtriya Janata Dal and its partners are leading in 97 seats, while the NDA is ahead on 133. A coalition needs 122 seats to form the government.
According to the Hindustan Times, the EC had counted 10% of the total votes at 11:25 AM. While many analysts also say to wait and watch as the counting in rural areas has not yet started and might be a game-changer.
After an early scare, the NDA is now ahead of the Mahagathbandhan and is looking to secure a majority in the Bihar assembly. The current trends suggest that the ruling coalition has crossed the halfway mark. Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party has also managed to improve its tally as it is leading on more numbers of seats than it won in the last elections. LJP and other smaller parties may hold the key in government formation if the NDA falls short of the half-way mark. Most exit polls had given the RJD-Congress-Left alliance a clear edge over the JD(U)-BJP coalition and had predicted that the ruling government was on its way out.
The Mahagathbandhan constitutes the RJD, the Congress, and the Left parties.
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Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) is trailing with 53 seats while BJP is ahead of the JD(U) in terms of leads with 72 seats. Most exit polls have given the RJD-Congress-Left alliance a clear edge over the JD(U)-BJP coalition and have predicted that the ruling government was on its way out.
The state has 243 assembly constituencies. There are 3,558 candidates in the fray, including 370 women and one transgender person. The voter turnout this year was 57.05% – marginally higher than the 56.66% of the 2015 assembly elections.
EC trends for 223 of 243 seats:
NDA leading on 133 seats – BJP 74, JDU 52, Vikassheel Insaan Party 5, HAM-1
Mahagathbandhan ahead on 97 seats – RJD 58, Congress 21, Left 19
BSP-1 and AIMIM- 2
LJP -4 & independents on five
The ruling NDA has moved above the half-way mark in Bihar. Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal-United, however, has fallen far behind ally BJP and the saffron party has emerged as the single largest party in the contest. The most noticeable change in fortunes was of the LJP’s Chirag Paswan. The party is now leading on eight seats, and in the case of a Hung Assembly, can play a crucial role. With over 5.5% of the share, should the LJP hold on, it would be a huge boost to the political career of the young Paswan, and his gamble of walking out of the NDA in Bihar at the last moment.
The fate of the Nitish-led JD(U) government, which has helmed Bihar for a decade and a half, will be decided on Tuesday as election results to the 243-member legislative assembly will be declared. Besides, the fate of 3,558 candidates, including 370 women and a transgender, will also be decided. The counting of votes began at 8 am at 55 centres across 38 districts.