It was billed as the biggest political thriller since the 2014 general elections, with exit polls suggesting a neck-in-neck battle between the Mahagathbandhan, or Grand Alliance, and the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance. The results of the Bihar Assembly elections, however, were almost anticlimactic – the Janata Dal (United)-Rashtriya Janata Dal-Congress alliance blew their opponents out of the water, winning nearly three-fourth of the seats as the Election Commission confirmed the results on Sunday evening.
Here are the biggest developments from counting day:
- The Grand Alliance won a total of 178 seats out of 243, far beyond the halfway mark of 122.
- Lalu Prasad Yadav's RJD won 80 of the Grand Alliance's seats, with Nitish Kumar's JD(U) winning 71. Kumar is set to return for a third term as chief minister. The Congress won 27 seats.
- The NDA won a mere 58 seats – 53 for the BJP, two apiece for the Lok Janshakti Party and Rashtriya Lok Samta Party and one for Hindustan Awam Morcha (Secular).
- The remaining seats went to the Left front (3) and independent candidates (4).
- Read all the reactions from the day here.
8.19 pm: As the last few results trickled in, members of RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav’s family were celebrating. His sons Tejaswi Prasad Yadav and Tej Pratap secured big wins in the Raghopur and Mahua constituencies. Raghopur has been a bastion of the Yadav family, with both Lalu and his wife Rabdi winning the seat in the past.
However, the news wasn’t as sunny for the relatives of several NDA leaders. LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan’s brother Pashupati Kumar Paras lost to RJD’s Chandan Kumar in Alauli, while Paswan’s nephew Prince Raj was defeated by JD(U)'s Maheshwar Prasad in Kalyanpur. Hindustani Awam Morcha president and former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s son lost the Kutumba seat to Rajesh Kumar from the Congress.
7.45 pm: With results of only 23 constituencies left to be declared, the Grand Alliance closed in on a two-third majority, with 161 seats, the RJD pulling ahead with 70 as against JD(U)'s 67. The NDA continued to struggle winning 52 seats.
7.10 pm: As we enter the final lap of counting on Saturday, the Grand Alliance has pulled far ahead, winning 142 seats as against the NDA's 47. Results of just 51 remain.
6.15pm: The Grand Alliance has crossed the halfway mark with 128 seats, as results for 69 seats remain undisclosed. The RJD now has 51 seats and the JD(U) has 53, out of the 174 for which results have been declared by the EC. The Grand Alliance is miles ahead of the NDA, which has secured just 44 seats so far.
5.45pm: The RJD and JD(U) are level with 37 seats each within the Grand Alliance's tally of 88, out of 116 constituencies for which the EC has declared results so far. The NDA is lagging far behind with just 25 seats. The Grand Alliance needs a further 34 seats to pass the halfway mark.
5.10 pm: The JD(U) now has 28 confirmed seats while the RJD has 25, and the Congress nine, with the Grand Alliance's tally hitting 63. The NDA has recorded 18 wins so far.
4.44 pm: The Grand Alliance is swiftly pulling ahead, its tally now at 48 as against the NDA's 12. The Left front has opened its book with a single seat.
4.19 pm: The Grand Alliance has now won 31 out of the 39 seats declared by the EC – 15 for the JD (U), 11 for the RJD and five for the Congress. They lead in another 145 constituencies. Meanwhile. the NDA's tally has gone up to eight, while they lead on 52 seats.
3.30 pm: With the results of 29 out of 243 seats being declared by the EC so far, 22 have been taken by the Grand Alliance. The JD(U) has won 10, the RJD seven and the Congress five seats. The National Democratic Alliance has won the remaining seven seats, with the BJP leading with five.
3 pm: The Grand Alliance has won 11 out of 15 seats for which the EC has declared results so far. The RJD has taken five, the JD(U) four and the Congress one seat. RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav's son Tej Pratap Yadav has won his seat in Mahua.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has won just three seats so far, with its alliance partner, the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), taking one.
2.30 pm: The first set of results have been released by the EC on its website, with the Grand Alliance taking seven out of eight seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party took the remaining seat.
1.30 pm: Latest pictures of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar celebrating his victory (courtesy Scroll.in's Supriya Sharma):
With strategist Prashant Kishore:
1 pm: The latest data on the EC's website shows the Grand Alliance leading in 168 seats out of 240. The National Democratic Alliance, on the other hand, lags far behind with just 64. The status for three other seats is still unknown.
12.50 pm: Meanwhile, on the streets:
12.20 pm: According to ANI's latest trends, the Grand Alliance is set to win as many as 167 seats, 100 more than the National Democratic Alliance:
12.15 pm: Here are the latest pictures from Patna, where supporters of Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar are jubilant (courtesy Scroll.in's Supriya Sharma):
12 pm: The EC's latest trends show the Grand Alliance leading in 150 out of 225 seats, with the Rashtriya Janata Dal ahead on 72, the Janata Dal (United) slightly behind on 63, while the Congress leads in 10 seats.
The Bharatiya Janata Party leads in 52 seats among the NDA's 65.
Here is how the results (up to 11.45 am) compare with the average of opinion polls and the 2010 assembly election results:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accepted defeat:
Here are the trends reported by news channels:
11.15 am: News channel ETV Bihar has gone ahead to congratulate the Janata Dal (United) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal on their victory:
11 am: Latest data on the Election Commission website shows the Grand Alliance leading in 110 seats out of 175. The RJD and JD(U) are neck-and-neck in the alliance with 51 and 49 seats each. The NDA, meanwhile, leads in 59 seats, with the BJP accounting for 48.
The media is also projecting big wins for the Grand Alliance:
As political leaders begin to react to the emerging trends and results, follow what they said here in our other live blog.
Scroll.in's Supriya Sharma sent us this picture of this RJD supporter dressed as Hanuman who emerged from Lalu Prasad Yadav's residence:
As the Election Commission's official numbers start to solidify the trends that TV channels have been reporting, coverage has shifted to the fact that Nitish Kumar is set to return as the Chief Minister in Bihar.
Scroll.in's Supriya Sharma sent us this picture of RJD supporters celebrating the latest trends:
All the channels are now not only showing leads for the Grand Alliance, but are even suggesting that the JDU-RJD-Congress combine will comfortably cross the 122-seat halfway mark. Some are even suggesting that the Grand Alliance will come close to touching 150 seats in the 243-seat assembly.
10.20am: ABP News and India Today TV have both called the election in favour of the Grand Alliance, with all channels and official Election Commission results showing the BJP trailing.
9.50am: Latest trends on the Election Commission website show the Grand Alliance leading in 32 seats out of 58, and the NDA in 23 seats.
Here is what the TV news channels are reporting:
Scroll's Supriya Sharma sent this photograph of people in Patna cheering the Grand Alliance taking the lead:
9.35am: ANI reports that the Grand Alliance has taken the lead according to the latest data from the Election Commission:
On the EC's website, the trends for just 15 constituencies have been published, with the RJD leading in seven seats, the BJP in five, the JD(U) in two and the HAM(S) in one seat.
9.15am: According to the latest data available on the Election Commission website, the BJP is leading in three seats, the RJD in two, and the Congress, the AIMIM and the HAM in one each. Early trends on most TV news channels also show the BJP-led NDA in the lead:
9am: ANI reports that the first round of counting is over with the NDA ahead:
8.45 am: ANI reports that the BJP is leading in 11 seats out of 30, according to the latest data from the Election Commission.
8am: Counting has begun The fate of arguably the most significant election since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls will be decided today as the results of 243 constituencies of Bihar are set to be declared. The state recorded its highest-ever voter turnout as 56.48% of the 66,826,658 electorate cast their poll over five phases.
The election campaign saw a bitter battle between the Maha Gathbandhan, or Grand Alliance, comprising the Janata Dal (United), the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress, and the National Democratic Alliance, formed of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Lok Janshakti Party, the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party and the Hindustan Awam Morcha.
An average of six exit polls of the assembly elections showed the Grand Alliance edging slightly ahead of the National Democratic Alliance. The Grand Alliance came out on top in four of the polls, with the NDA being ahead in the other two, including one massive win.
In the 2010 assembly elections, the NDA, which at the time was formed of the BJP and the JD(U) won 206 out of the 243 seats. The JD(U) accounted for 115 seats, while the BJP took the other 91. The RJD and Congress, which fought independently, won 22 and four seats, respectively. Others, including independent candidates, won eight seats.