In one of the biggest victories in India’s electoral history, the Nitish Kumar-led JD(U)-BJP alliance on Wednesday attained a landslide three-fourth majority in Bihar, bagging 206 of the 243-Assembly seats.
JD(U) on its own won 115 seats, while its electoral ally BJP snapped up 91 of the 141 and 102 seats they contested respectively.
Reducing the opposition to tatters, the NDA partners improved their performance considerably compared to the last elections in 2005, when they together won 143 seats.
The RJD-LJP alliance steered by Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan, both of whom did not contest, ate humble pie and secured just 25 seats with RJD (22) and LJP (3). They together had 64 seats — RJD (54) and LJP (10) last time.
Communist Party of India and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha won one each while others won 6.
To add to RJD’s humiliation, former chief minister and Prasad’s wife Rabri Devi lost from both the seats – Sonepur and Raghopur – she contested from.
The Congress suffered a major electoral setback as it won only 4 seats compared to 9 it held in 2005.
The CPI won one seat and Independents emerged victorious at three places.
Reacting to the people’s verdict, Nitish said, “We have no magic wand, but people’s trust. I will need to work harder than I did in the last five years and I will not hesitate to do it.”
“The outcome of the elections also proves beyond doubt that it was a victory for development and for the people of the state,” Nitish said.
The poll verdict, Nitish said, would disappoint those politicking on the basis of caste and the results would mark the beginning of a “new story” in Bihar and have effect outside the state.
Without naming RJD chief who had criticised the exit polls predicting victory for the NDA, Nitish said, “Media should not be criticised for its projection that NDA will pull off a landslide victory in Bihar.
“People should refrain from unnecessary criticism of the media… if you live up to the people’s aspirations and expectations you will definitely be rewarded,” he said.
“Now I feel that the people have thrust on my shoulder more responsibilities and I have to continue to make efforts with full dedication,” Nitish said.
Lalu Yadav, who was the RJD-LJP chief ministerial candidate, gave credit of the victory to Nitish, but not the BJP.
He said he had accepted the defeat with humility.
“We will soon undertake a review to ascertain what went wrong leading to such astonishing victory for the NDA,” Lalu said.READ MORE at IBNLive