Bihar Election 2020: Slow counting, changing trends force parties to hold off celebrations

With more than half the total number of votes polled during the Bihar Assembly elections still uncounted it would seem that there might be changes that are yet to come. Comments by the Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar, HR Srinivas seem to suggest that the counting would continue till late into the evening. Around 1:00 pm he had noted that only 20% of the total votes polled had been counted.

"Around 4.10 crore votes were cast, 92 lakh votes counted so far. Earlier there used to be 25-26 rounds of counting, this time it went up to around 35 rounds. So the counting will continue till late evening," Srinivas was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

While the NDA currently holds the lead in a majority of seats (they have crossed the halfway mark), the margins by which they are leading are rather slim in may areas. At present the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan is ahead on 103 seats. According to reports that quote sources, in as many as 70 seats, the margin by which the winning candidate is leading remains extremely tight, falling under 1,000 votes.

While these factors have muted the celebration in many areas, an additional factor is the fact that it will be quite some time before there is any clarity as to who will emerge the winner. As the EC has informed, counting will take extra time due to 63% more EVMs than 2015 Bihar polls as COVID-19 protocol needed additional polling booths.

The Bihar elections could be anyone's game at this point. And while some continue to celebrate, many have adopted a wait and watch position at present.

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