Nitish’s alliance routs Modi-led NDA in Bihar, Lalu's RJD emerges as leader of the pack

Grand alliance scores landslide two-thirds majority in Bihar, Nitish set for third term as CM

Patna: The Grand Alliance on Sunday routed the BJP-led NDA in Bihar to score a landslide two-thirds majority in the Assembly giving Chief Minister Nitish Kumar a third term in office in a battle in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi staked his all.

Making a spectacular comeback after the severe drubbing in the last year's Lok Sabha polls at the hands of Modi, the newly-formed JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance secured 178 seats in the 243-member House. RJD emerged the leader of the pack with 80 seats while JD(U) bagged 71. Both the parties had contested 101 seats each.

Congress also made impressive gains winning 27 seats out of 41. It had won only 4 last time.

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The BJP-led NDA, for which Modi mounted an aggressive campaign addressing more than 30 rallies, bagged 58 seats. BJP on its own got 53 seats out of 157 it contested while its allies also put up a poor show. LJP, led by Ram Vilas Paswan, and RLSP of Upendra Kushwaha got two seats each.

Former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi's HAM won only one of the two seats he contested and lost in all the 19 others it fought in.

In the last assembly polls which JDU and BJP fought together, the two parties had got 115 and 91 seats respectively. The RJD and Congress, which had fought on their own, bagged 22 and 04 seats respectively.

For Modi, the Bihar results are seen as a personal setback for the second time in 10 months after BJP's disastrous show in Delhi Assembly polls where Aam Aadmi Party secured 67 of the 70 seats, leaving only three to BJP.

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After leading his party to a stunning majority in the Lok Sabha polls in May last year, Modi also ensured success for the party in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand, where the party formed government on its own. In Jammu and Kashmir, BJP became part of the coalition government with PDP in March.

After the Modi juggernaut decimated Congress, RJD and JDU in Bihar bagging 31 of 40 Lok Sabha seats, the three rival parties came together in the assembly bye polls that happened months later. They won six out of the 10 seats that gave them the necessary boost to join forces and repeat the success on a massive scale.

CPI(ML-L), which contested on its own, got two seats while Independents were successful in four seats. AIMIM of Assadudin Owaisi and Janadhikar Party of Lok Sabha member Pappu Yadav drew a blank.

Appearing together before the media after the results, Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad said the poll verdict would have an impact on national politics as it shows that there is yearning for a "good and strong alternative" and a "powerful opposition" to BJP.

Describing the election as a "milestone", Kumar said the result was for "harmony" and against "intolerance". He said efforts at polarisation have failed.

Lalu, while attacking Modi, said the alliance will launch a "strong nationwide movement" against BJP as part of "march towards Delhi" and will begin with a rally within 10 days in the Prime Minister's constituency Varanasi.

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( Source : PTI )
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