Even as counting for the Bihar Assembly elections was underway and a tight contest was on hands, Janata Dal (United) leader KC Tyagi appeared to have conceded defeat, as he laid the blame on the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are losing only due to Covid-19 impact,” Tyagi told ANI. “A year ago, RJD [Rashtriya Janata Dal] could not win a single seat in Lok Sabha polls. As per Lok Sabha results, JD(U) and allies were to win over 200 seats.”

Referring to the Bihar chief minister and the Opposition, he also claimed that that “nothing has harmed brand Nitish [Kumar]” or “added to brand RJD”, since last year’s Lok Sabha polls, where the National Democratic Alliance, which also included the Lok Janshakti Party, won 39 out of 40 seats in the state.

For live updates on Bihar Assembly election results, click here

Tyagi’s statement came just about two hours into the counting after various media outlets showed an early lead in the trends for the Opposition’s Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance). However, at 11.30 am, the ruling alliance had taken over the lead in a contest that is expected to go down to the wire.

Tyagi also criticised the Chirag Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party saying that they played a “negative role” and the party has “no existence in Bihar politics”, according to ANI.

Paswan’s outfit had split from the ruling alliance in the state in October citing “ideological differences” with the Janata Dal (United). Subsequently, it put up candidates in 137 seats, including all 115 where the Kumar’s party was in contention.

Also read:

Preview: Nitish Kumar battles anti-incumbency as exit polls give Bihar’s RJD-led alliance the edge