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Defying exit polls, the Grand Alliance won the Bihar assembly elections by a two-thirds majority. A number of reasons were responsible for the win, including chief minister Nitish Kumar’s popularity in Bihar, his progressive attitude to development, the lack of trust in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the controversial remarks made by its leaders during the election campaign, and the absence of a local BJP face.

Controversial remarks on reservation also played a major role, diverting the debate to caste issues where the Grand Alliance had the upper edge. The research team at Electionsinindia.com and Mint analysed the Bihar elections with different socio-religious segments. The results are shown by phases, regions and the margin of victory.

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