Patna: The Nitish Kumar-led JD(U)-BJP alliance on Wednesday headed for a three-fourth majority in Bihar, bagging 175 of the 243 Assembly seats and leading in 30 others.
Smashing opposition to smithereens, 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 ate humble pie and secured just 18 seats and was leading in ten other places. They had 64 seats last time.
To add to RJD’s humiliation, former chief minister and Prasad’s wife Rabri Devi lost at Sonepur in Saran district to nearest BJP rival and was trailing in Raghopur.
The Congress suffered a major electoral setback as it won only four seats and was ahead in three compared to the nine seats it held in 2005.
The CPI won one seat.
Reacting to the people’s verdict, Kumar 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.”
The poll verdict, he said, would disappoint those doing politics on the basis of caste and the outcome would mark a “new story” in Bihar and have effect outside the state.
“The trends are positive and reflects that those making false claims or promises will face the music,” he said.
Without naming RJD chief Lalu Prasad who had criticized the exit polls predicting victory for the NDA, Kumar said, “Media should not be criticized 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,” Kumar 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.”