Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party had come a long way from having “two rooms and two MPs” to now establishing a national presence. He made the remark while addressing BJP workers in Delhi at an event to celebrate the National Democratic Alliance’s victory in the Bihar Assembly polls.

“There was a time when the party had two MPs and two rooms,” Modi remembered. “But now the BJP is everywhere.”

Modi added that the people of Bihar had voted for the NDA because it made development a goal. He said that the BJP’s good performance in bye-polls across several states showed that the party had a national appeal.

“If you ask me about the Bihar results, my reply will be as clear as the people’s verdict,” Modi said during his address. “In Bihar, the ‘sabka saath, sabka vikaas, sabka vishwas’ [development for all, with everyone’s trust] mantra has won.”

Modi said that the results of both the Bihar elections and the bye-polls showed that people across the country had faith in the BJP. “The BJP is the only national party in which poor, dalits, deprived see their representation and only BJP understands needs of every section and region,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.

Modi added that the election verdict also endorsed the Centre’s coronavirus-fighting strategy and that the people’s affection for the party was growing. “BJP is the only party whose seats increased in Bihar, even after staying in power for three terms,” said the prime minister.

He thanked the people and election officials for ensuring a smooth polling process, even amid the coronavirus crisis. “I thank the people of this great country not because they gave BJP success in the elections, but because we all celebrated the festival of democracy,” he said. “The faith that the people of this country have in democracy in incomparable.”

The Janata Dal (United)-led National Democratic Alliance retained power in Bihar with a simple majority, according to results announced early on Wednesday. Nitish Kumar is expected to continue as the chief minister for a fourth term.

The BJP-JD(U) coalition won 125 seats in the 243-member state Assembly, while the Opposition alliance comprising of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Congress and Left parties, won 110 seats. The majority mark to form the government is 122 in the 243-seat Bihar Assembly.

Within the NDA, the BJP won 74 seats out of the 110 it contested. Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United), which fought from 115 seats, won only 43. Other partners such as the Vikassheel Insaan Party and Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) bagged four seats each. Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party, which pulled out of the NDA in October and contested from 137 seats, managed to win just one.

Despite losing, the Rashtriya Janata Dal emerged as the single-largest party, with 75 seats. The Congress won 19 seats, while the Left parties put up an impressive performance with 16 wins. The three parties – Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation – had put up candidates in 29 seats.

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  2. Rajdeep Sardesai: 10 takeaways from the Battle for Bihar’