Patna: Nitish Kumar-led JD(U)-BJP alliance on Wednesday appeared set to score a landslide two-thirds victory in the Bihar assembly elections with the ruling combine surging ahead in 174 of the 243 seats for which trends were available.
JD(U) is ahead in 98 seats while its partner BJP is leading in 76 seats in the elections to the 243-member assembly while opposition RJD-LJP alliance was way behind at 45 seats.
Congress, which went alone in the elections, was leading in five constituencies. Others are ahead in 15 seats.
Results for three constituencies were declared with BJP winning two and JD(U) romping home in one. In Bettiah, BJP minister Renu Devi defeated Congress nominee Madan Mohan Tiwari by around 15,000 votes while in Chanpatia, Chandramohan Rai (BJP) defeated BSP’s Ejaj Hussain by over 13,000 votes.
Prabhat Ranjan Singh (JD(U) won the Bagha seat defeating BSP’s Md Kamran by around 20,000 votes.
Former chief minister Rabri Devi was trailing by 400 votes after the first round of counting at Sonepur, where the BJP candidate Vijay Kumar Singh was leading.
In the last elections in 2005, the JD(U)-BJP alliance got 143 seats with JD(U) 88 and BJP 55. RJD and LJP together had 64 seats in the outgoing House. Congress had nine.
Congress gave all credit to Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar for the ruling combine’s success in the elections and said law and order in the state improved under his regime, while BJP - the trends indicated that the people’s mandate was for development, maintenance of law and order and good governance.
Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan said Congress went alone in the elections and it preferred to build a proper organization. “All credit to him (Kumar) for his success...law and order did improve under Nitish Kumar,” Natarajan said.
Asked about party’s poor performance in the polls, she said there was always a desire among the Congress workers that the party should go it alone and find its own place.
“There is a new hope for Bihar. It reaffirms many political myths will go underground. The biggest myth is a Congress resurgence. Congress is no longer relevant in any part of the country,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javedekar said.
Among JD(U) ministers leading were Vijendra Yadav (Supaul), Narendra Narain Yadav JD(U) (Alamgarh), Ram Parvesh Rai (Barauli) and Hari Prasad Shah (Laukaha).
BJP ministers leading were Ashwini Choubey (Bhagalpur), Nand Kishore Yadav (Patna Saheb) and Renu Devi (Bettiah).
State Congress president Choudhury Mehboob Ali Kaiser was trailing behind the JD(U) candidate at Simri-Bakhtiarpur.
State RJD president Abdul Bari Siddique was trailing behind his nearest JD(U) rival at Alinagar.