MIM, BSP Likely to Be King Makers as Alliances Led by Nitish, Tejashwi Grapple for Power

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Tejashwi Yadav (L) and Nitish Kumar

As per the Election Commission data at 9 p.m., winners were declared on 89 out of 243 seats. The BJP has won 28 seats followed by 25 seats by the RJD, while the JD-U has won 17 seats. The counting for the 243-seat Bihar Assembly polls began at 8 a.m. on Tuesday

Clarion India

PATNA – The AIMIM, the BSP and Independent candidates are set to have extra value amid the extremely tight situation in Bihar as the NDA and the Mahagathbandhan or Grand Alliance were neck and neck in getting to a simple majority. Neither of the two has crossed the half-way mark of 122 seats yet.

As per the Election Commission data at 9 p.m., winners were declared on 89 out of 243 seats. The BJP has won 28 seats followed by 25 seats by the RJD, while the JD-U has won 17 seats. The counting for the 243-seat Bihar Assembly polls began at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

According to the Election Commission, the RJD was leading on 51 seats, taking its tally to 76 seats. The BJP was leading on 44 seats, an overall lead on 72 seats. The JD-U was in the third spot, leading on 26 seats and winning 17 seats.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah made a telephone call to Nitish Kumar this evening, according to NDTV. Sources said Shah dialled Nitish to discuss the results but the details are not known yet.

The RJD was turning out to be single-largest party and its leaders said that they will legally stake a claim with the Governor to form a government in Bihar.

In this case, the role of Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM which has won five seats, the Bahujan Samaj Party which is leading on one seat and two Independent candidates may play a crucial role.

The AIMIM may hold the key simply because of its anti-saffron ideology, even though Owaisi was targeted by by Tejashwi Yadav for weakening his party in its minority-dominated stronghold of Seemanchal.

NDA partners Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) won 2 seats and was leading on two seats seats while former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) won one seat and was leading on three seats.

The Grand Alliance was leading on total 113 seats. The Congress was at fourth position, as it was leading on 19 seats, and second in the Grand Alliance. The grand old party was followed by three left partners that led on 18 seats – the Communist Party of India Marxist-Leninist (Liberation) (12), and the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on three seats each.

Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party was yet to either win a seat or lead on any.

Nitish accused of delaying counting

The RJD has alleged that the JD-U was trying to slow down the pace of counting. It has also alleged that successful candidates were not being given winning certificates.

Addressing journalists in Patna, RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha said he wants to urge Chief Minister Nitish Kumar not to disrespect the people’s mandate.

“The Mahagathbandhan will emerge victorious. The people of Bihar won’t tolerate such actions. I request the outgoing CM not to call up returning officers and put pressure on them,” Jha said.

The official Twitter handle of the party also tweeted out a list of 119 candidates who they claimed had emerged victorious. But the EC’s returning officers were not giving them winning certificates, the party alleged.

Chitranjan Gagan, state spokesperson of the RJD, also alleged that CM Nitish Kumar was misusing his power to affect the electoral process in more than a dozen constituencies. Hence, his party is going to file complaints before the Election Commission of India.

The ruling JD-U has refuted all such allegations, calling them a sign of frustration. Sanjay Singh, spokesperson of JD-U, said: “The people of Bihar have defeated the Mahagathbandhan and now its leaders are levelling false allegations against us. The NDA has contested these elections with Nitish Kumar as the CM face and he will remain the Chief Minister of Bihar.”

Most ‘muscle men’, their kin leading

Showcasing their influence, several “muscle men” from various parties, including jailed Anant Singh, who are contesting the Bihar Assembly elections, as well as their wives and sons fielded in their place, were leading in their respective constituencies in Tuesday’s vote count.

Contesting from Patna’s Mokama as a Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) candidate, Anant Singh, a friend-turned-foe of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, was leading by over 30,000 votes against his rival Rajeev Lochan Narayan Singh of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U). Known as “Chote Sarkar” and facing 37 cases, Singh had also won from Mokama in 2005 and 2010 as a JD-U candidate.

RJD’s Rit Lal Ray, who was released from jail earlier this year, was leading from Patna’s Danapur assembly constituency by a margin of over 16,000 votes against Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Asha Devi. Ray is the accused in the murder case of Asha Devi’s husband Satyanarayan Sinha in 2003.

Another RJD muscle man Prabhunath Singh’s son Randhir Kumar Singh, who contested from Chapra assembly constituency, was leading against BJP’s Dr C.N. Gupta by over 1,400 votes. Prabhunath Singh is currently serving life imprisonment in a murder case.
Narendra Kumar Pandey aka Sunil Pandey, who contested as an independent candidate from Tarari Assembly constituency in Bhojpur, is leading by a margin of over 700 votes over sitting MLA Sudama Prasad of the Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist (Liberation).

Rape-accused RJD leader and former minister Raj Vallabh Yadav’s wife Vibha Devi is leading from Nawada assembly seat by a margin of over 15,000 votes.
On the JD-U’s side, late muscle man Bindi Yadav’s wife Manorama Devi, contesting from Gaya’s Atri Assembly seat, was trailing by a margin of over 6,000 votes against Ajay Yadav of the RJD.

Her son Rocky Yadav is serving a life term for murder for killing a class 12 boy Aditya Sachdeva in a road rage in 2016 at Gaya.

Another RJD muscle man, Surendra Prasad Yadav, who is also known as “Magadh Samrat” is leading by a margin of over 19,000 votes from Belaganj Assembly constituency, over JD-U’s Abhay Kumar Sinha.

Another muscle man JD-U’s sitting MLA Amrendra Kumar Pandey, brother of dreaded gangster Satish Pandey from Kuchaikote, was also leading. He was named in the murder case of three of family members of a RJD supporter in May this year. The Bihar Police arrested Satish Pandey and his son Mukeesh Pandey in the case.  (With inputs from IANS)

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