The Nitish Kumar-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) cantered to a close win in the Bihar Assembly Elections 2020, securing another five-year term in power.
Kumar will continue his tenure as the longest serving chief minister of Bihar, adding to his 15-year stewardship of the state. However, his Janata Dal-United (JDU) was a big loser on the night, dropping 28 seats with 43 wins.
Read: Bihar Election Results 2020: Chirag Paswan's LJP scores 1; bites JD-U votes
The Bharatiya Janata Party, its NDA ally, heavily made up the numbers, emerging as the second-largest party in the Vidhan Sabha with 74 seats. A sizeable upswing of 21 seats makes them the senior partner in the alliance and has been bolstered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's campaigning in the state prior to the polls.
Meanwhile, the challengers Mahagathbandhan (MGB) or Grand Alliance will have much to rue. Despite exit polls favouring the alliance led by Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) chief Tejashwi Yadav, an underperforming Congress meant they could only secure 110 seats, even with the help of three Left parties.
RJD emerged as the single-largest party in the assembly with 75 seats, shedding five seats from the 2015 election. Meanwhile, the Congress could only secure 19 wins from the 70 seats they contested, even less than the 27 it had won in the previous assembly.
Vote share (please check final numbers from here)
The RJD received 23.1 percent of all votes cast, the most in the state, building on the 18.4 percent they secured at the previous election. Despite its notable seat total, the BJP also slipped from 24.4 percent in 2015 to 19.5 percent in 2020.
The JDU also fell somewhat in vote-share, from 16.8 percent to 15.4 percent. Meanwhile, the Congress raised its vote share to 9.5 percent from 6.7 percent despite dropping seats, likely due to contesting more seats.
Chirag Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) was the only other party with more than 5 percent, having contested a majority of seats but winning only one. It moved from 4.8 percent of votes in 2015 to 5.66 percent in 2020.
Major winners and losers
The RJD's frontrunners won big, with brothers Tejashwi and Tej Pratap Yadav both winning in the Raghopur and Hasanpur constituencies, respectively.
The Congress could not sustain the same results and lost several key seats. Greatest among them was Pravin Singh's defeat to BJP incumbent and Bihar cabinet minister Nand Kishore Yadav in the Patna Sahib seat
Former youth leader Nitin Nabin also won his seat over the Congress, while national shooter Shreyasi Singh took a constituency away from the RJD.
Meanwhile, former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi of the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) won Imamganj seat, defeating RJD’s Uday Narain Choudhary.
Counting day poll-speak
The RJD alleged poll fraud during the Bihar elections, claiming 119 candidates from the Grand Alliance had won in the polls. However, these candidates - who had secured the most votes during polling - were denied winning certificates and the seats were allegedly given to candidates from other parties.
The CPI-Marxist-Leninist (Liberation) also claimed irregularities in three assembly seats and demanded a recount, especially in Bhorey where the margin of their loss was less than 1,000 votes.
PM Narendra Modi commented on the success on Twitter late on November 10 as it became apparent the NDA would have enough seats to become the majority power in the Vidhan Sabha. He congratulated the voters of Bihar and reiterated that "Bihar has shown the power of democracy to the world".
Largest margin of victory - Balrampur
Incumbent Mehboob Alam of the CPI-MLL won by the most votes in the election, securing 53,597 votes over the second-placed candidate - Virendra Kumar Ojha of the Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP). He was the incumbent MLA in the seat of Balrampur.
Smallest margin of victory - Hilsa
The constituency of Hilsa was the closest fought in the Bihar Assembly, as Krishnamurari Sharan of the JDU won the right to represent it with only 12 votes more than incumbent MLA and RJD candidate Atri Muni.
Interestingly, Barbigha constituency, which has the smallest electorate in Bihar, had the second-closest margin of victory. Incumbent Sudharshan Kumar of the JDU beat the Congress' Gajanand Shahi to retain his seat by 113 votes.
Close winners - less than 1,000 votesTwelve seats were settled with less than 1,000 votes between the winning and second-placed candidate. These were Bakhri (CPI), Barbigha (JDU), Bhorey (JDU), Chakai (Independent), Dehri (RJD), Hilsa (JDU), Kurhani (RJD), Matihani (LJP), Munger (BJP), Parbatta (JDU) and Ramgarh (RJD).