Grand Alliance heads to victory in late surge; JD-U hopes to form government in Bihar

Patna, Nov 8: The Grand Alliance on Sunday celebrated all across Bihar as its candidates forged ahead in more than half of the 243 seats, stunning the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Two-and-a-half hours into the vote count, trends from counting centres showed the JD-U camp was ahead in 135 seats – 13 more than the 122 needed to secure a majority in the assembly – while the BJP alliance was on the front in 92 seats.

Smaller parties, including the BSP and MIM, were on the winning track in nine constituencies.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leaders claimed victory and said the JD-U and its two allies – the RJD and Congress – were confident of forming the government.

JD-U leader Sharad Yadav said the Grand Alliance would win about 150 seats. “It was a very tough fight, it was a straight fight.”

JD-U’s Pavan Verma added: “The Grand Alliance has moved towards victory. It is a defeat for (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi and (BJP president) Amit Shah. We will form a government with a clear majority.”

It was one of the most bitterly contested assembly election in recent times, with Modi personally taking charge of the BJP combine’s campaign, pitting himself against Chief Minister and JD-U leader Nitish Kumar and RJD leader Lalu Prasad.

When the final results are declared, it would be the BJP’s second straight defeat in assembly elections since it was routed by the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi in February.

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad too said earlier: “We will win with very conclusive majority. People of Bihar need change.”

BJP leaders ordered a huge quantity of sweets, saying they were sure of a victory. In no time, the atmosphere became sombre in the BJP office here.

PIC: Online Media Sources

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