Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Hemant Soren on Monday thanked the people of Jharkhand for giving the Opposition alliance in the state a clear mandate, ANI reported. He called the results a “milestone” in the history of Jharkhand. Soren is the alliance’s candidate for the chief minister’s post.

“The trends of the election results suggest that the voters of Jharkhand have given a clear mandate for which I am very thankful to the voters,” he said at a press conference. “Today’s victory is full of happiness for many but for me, it is also the day to take a vow to fulfill the expectations of the public.”

The latest trends showed the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-Congress-Rashtriya Janata Dal alliance leading in 36 seats. It has won 10 constituencies. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, which had contested the polls alone, was ahead in just 21 seats and won four. The majority mark in the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly is 41.

Soren dedicated the victory to his father and party chief Shibu Soren. He also thanked Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi for supporting his party.

“This marks a new chapter in the history of Jharkhand and this chapter will be a milestone for the state,” Soren claimed. “I assure the people that their expectations will be met regardless of their class or section of the society they belong to.”

Meanwhile, Jharkhand BJP leader and incumbent Chief Minister Raghubar Das conceded defeat, Hindustan Times reported, taking personal responsibility for it. “It is my defeat, not of BJP,” Das added.

Earlier in the day, Das refused to concede defeat, saying that he still had hope that the BJP would win the elections. At 6.30 pm, Das was himself trailing against his opponent and rebel BJP leader Saryu Roy in Jamshedpur East by 11,314 votes. “Had Saryu Roy caused damage, I would not have received the votes that I have so far,” Das had said earlier in the day. “Let me clearly state that we are not only winning but we will also form government under the leadership of BJP in the state.”

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah conceded defeat. “We respect the mandate given by the people of Jharkhand,” he tweeted. “We express our gratitude towards them for giving us the opportunity to serve them for five years. BJP is committed towards continuous development in the state.”

Elections to the Jharkhand Assembly were held in five phases from November 30 to December 20.