NDA juggernaut steamrolls Grand Alliance, wins 39 of 40 seats in Bihar

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) registered a spectacular victory in Bihar, clinching 39 out of the 40 seats, eight more than it won in 2014.

The JD (U), which was not a part of the alliance in 2014, joined the NDA in 2017 and went to the LS polls with the BJP and LJP, winning 16 out of its share of 17 seats. BJP had fought on equal number of seats wining all while the third alliance partner, LJP, that contested six seats, also won all its six seats.

The trio of BJP-JD(U)-LJP proved a lethal combination for the opposition which was decimated across the state with Muslim dominated Kishanganj proving an exception as the JD (U) candidate Syed Mahmood suffered defeat against Congress candidate Mahmood Javed.

Among the prominent winners were six Union ministers from Bihar, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Ram Kripal Yadav, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Giriraj Singh, Radha Mohan Singh and RK Singh.

The Congress which fought the polls in alliance which the RJD and three other regional parties united under the banner of Grand Alliance (GA) salvaged some pride by depriving the NDA a clean sweep by retaining minority dominated Kishanganj seat. The party had won two seats in the 2014 polls.

Regional parties Hindustani Awaam Morcha (Secular) (HAM-S) led by former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) led by former union minister Upendra Kushwaha, Vikasheel Insaan Party (VIP) led by Mukesh Sahni, and the Left parties also suffered a similar fate as none of their candidates managed to upstage rival NDA candidates.

RJD had contested 19 seats leaving the Ara seat for CPI (ML) while Congress fought nine seats, HAM-S and VIP contested three each while RLSP fielded candidates from five seats.

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Dearth of mass leaders, infighting in the RJD and among the alliance partners, poor transfer of votes, lack of coordination and above all absence of RJD chief Lalu Prasad from the poll scene led to GA’s dismal performance in Bihar.

The NDA, right from the beginning, took a formidable lead in at least 37 seats that only increased during the day till the end of counting. GA candidates in Patliputra and Jehanabad had led the race initially before they lost.

Farmers voted vigorously in favour of NDA contradicting the GA’s claim that there was a deep anguish among the peasants against the Modi government due to its faulty farm policies. NDA’s victory on seats with 40 % or more minority voters also drove home the point that the minorities this time were not averse to the BJP and its allies.

All the GA stalwarts like former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, former union ministers Upendra Kushwaha, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Shatrughan Sinha, former Bihar ministers Jagadanand Singh, Abdul Bari Siddiqui and Rajya Sabha MP and Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi’s eldest daughter,Misa Bharti, lost their battles miserably.

Kushwaha had contested from two seats, Ujiarpur and Karakat and lost in both.

Hailing the results, chief minister Nitish Kumar said, “The mandate is a bigger responsibility on us. People of Bihar have expressed their feelings in the form of their votes. We would now be more committed to the development of state and its people.” He reiterated his resolve to get Bihar the special state status soon.

“We had predicted wining more seats than 2014 poll. Our prediction has come true. I am extremely thankful to the people of Bihar for electing a government that works for the people. I also wish to thank our alliance leaders Nitish Kumar and Ram Vilas Paswan, who ensured that our workers worked together and properly transferred votes to ensure NDA’s triumph,” said deputy chief minister and senior BJP leader, Sushil Modi.

Bihar BJP president Nityanand Rai also lauded the NDA leaders’ efforts for the near whitewash. “Probably for the first time, people cutting across caste and religious barriers in Bihar came out openly to vote for the Narendra Modi led government at the Centre,” he said, adding, “It was an election for protecting nation’s pride and development for all.”

Union minister Ram Kripal Yadav said people of Bihar have eventually realized that only a government led by Narendra Modi could ensure development for all sections of the society and do good for the nation and them.

Congress leader and popular Bollywood star Shatrughan Sinha said that while there have been several complaints about theft of votes from various states including Bihar he would raise such issues later at an opportune moment.

“I congratulate my friend and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, master strategist BJP national president Amit Shah and my family friend Ravi Shankar Prasad for their triumph. I hope that Prasad would exploit his sources and resources to make Patna a smart city,” he said.

First Published:
May 23, 2019 20:18 IST

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