Communist Party of India candidate Kanhaiya Kumar, who contested the Lok Sabha elections for the first time, lost to Bharatiya Janata Party leader Giriraj Singh in Begusarai constituency in Bihar.

Singh won with a margin of 4,22,217 votes and a vote share of 56.48%. Kumar secured 2,69,976 votes (22.03% vote share) while Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Tanweer Hassan secured 1,98,233 votes (16.17%), according to the Election Commission.

Singh, who posted updates of the trends all through Thursday evening, also tweeted a picture of the certificate declaring his win. “I am thankful to God, Narendra Modi, and the people of Begusarai for this win,” he tweeted.

“Greetings to all fellow countrymen on the mandate of the world’s largest democracy,” Kumar tweeted on Thursday. “Greetings to all the elected Members of Parliament and all those who have cooperated and supported the election. Our struggle for people’s rights will continue with vigour and perseverance.”

Begusarai, which voted on April 23, is one of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. A total of 12 candidates contested from Begusarai. The constituency was originally a Left stronghold and popularly called the “Leningrad of Bihar”, but it has now turned to the BJP, NDTV reported.

Kumar’s campaign had garnered a lot of attention as he set out to make his electoral debut in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He started out as a student leader at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi. His campaign was backed by actors like Swara Bhaskar and Shabana Azmi, and writer Javed Akhtar.

Singh, a minister in the Narendra Modi-led government, has been infamous for his inflammatory speeches. Rashtriya Janata Dal candidate Tanweer Hassan, who is a member of the Bihar Legislative Council, was fielded by the party after talks with the Communist Party of India fell through.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal is part of the “Grand Alliance” with the Congress, the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, Hindutani Awam Morcha Secular and Vikassheel Insaan Party in Bihar.

In 2014, BJP’s Bhola Singh had won the Begusarai seat by defeating the RJD candidate Hassan by a margin of 58,335 votes. The Communist Party of India came third from the seat during the last general elections.

The counting of votes began at 8 am on Thursday. Results for the 542 constituencies are expected to be declared at the end of the day. Over 8,000 candidates were in the fray for the Lok Sabha elections which began on April 11 and concluded on May 19.