The counting of votes in the Bihar polls began at 8 AM on November 10. Amid uncertanties about the final tally, most exit polls have predicted a neck-to-neck contest between the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)-led Grand Alliance (Mahagathbandhan) and the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA), consisting of primarily the Janata Dal (United) (JD-U) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with ultimately a win for the Tejashwi-led camp.
According to the latest updates, currently, the NDA is narrowly trailing the RJD-led alliance amid a tight poll fight. However, what comes as a rather surprising development, it has now been reported that the JD-U has already conceded defeat in a private conversation with a news channel.
According to an NDTV report, JD-U spokesperson KC Tyagi told the channel that the party "was defeated by the nation's curse (COVID-19)".
"We welcome the people's decision. We were not defeated by RJD or Tejashwi Yadav but nation's curse (Covid)," KC Tyagi was quoted as saying by NDTV.
"We are trailing only because of COVID-19," the spokesperson of chief minister Nitish Kumar's party continued, adding that RJD had scored "no massive achievements" in the past year so the only explanation for JD-U's conceit was "nature".
Bihar recorded 57.05% turnout in the assembly elections this time, marginally higher than that of 2015 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, as per official data.
The voter turnout in the elections held in 2015 was 56.66%, the Election Commission data showed. Female voter turnout this year was 59.69%, higher than that of the male voters -- 54.68%.
Multiple exit polls released Saturday evening predicted the Mahagathbandhan to win a majority in the 243- strong Bihar assembly.
Most of the exit polls also predicted RJD to again emerge as the single largest party in the 243-member assembly along with a clear dip in the seat tally of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar-led JD(U).
In the last assembly elections held in 2015, the RJD had won 80 seats with a vote share of 18 per cent, while JD(U) won 71 seats with vote share of 11 per cent. The BJP had won 53 seats with 24 per cent vote share and Congress had 27 seats and seven per cent votes.
At that time, the JD(U) had fought the election in alliance with RJD and Congress among other parties, while LJP was in the BJP-led NDA alliance. LJP had got two seats with five per cent vote share.
This time, JD(U) is back in the NDA, while LJP fought the election alone. During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when both JD(U) and LJP were in the NDA, the alliance had won 39 out of 40 seats in the state.