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Bihar election results: Good roads take Nitish Kumar home

After Bihar won by three-fourths majority,Nitish government to take oath on Friday

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna |
November 24, 2010 7:41:36 am

The NDA alliance in Bihar,led by JD(U)’s Nitish Kumar,stamped its authority on the state on Wednesday after phenomenally resurgent mandate propelled the alliance to a second term in office.

The absolute-majority verdict left no other option for Opposition parties and leaders,including Lalu Prasad Yadav,but to go back to the drawing board and introspect.

By early afternoon,Nitish Kumar – along with the BJP – had sprinted past the Opposition,widening the gap as the day progressed.

The NDA alliance finally won 206 seats in the 243-member Assembly. Of these,the JD(U) bagged 115 seats and the BJP 91.

On the other hand,the RJD-LJP alliance suffered major reverses bagging only 25 seats — the RJD 22 and LJP 3. The alliance had 64 last time.

Congress too had a major setback winning only 4 seats compared to the 9 it had won in 2005.

Others,including Independents,won 8 seats.

Nitish Kumar and his government will be sworn in on Friday at the Gandhi Maidan in Patna,party sources said.

The emphatic mandate for Nitish Kumar declares that Bihar has finally transcended its caste politics and voted for an administration that provided good governance. Two things that aptly describe this victory are improved law and order in the state and good roads.

The caste configuration of the RJD-LJP and Lalu’s trite slogans of Dalit pride has fallen by the wayside,analysts said. LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan might well be completely marginalised in Bihar politics,they feel.

Lalu Prasad Yadav has also lost the support of the Muslim community which has voted en masse for the JD(U),irrespective of its alliance with the BJP. This has very little to do with the fact that Nitish put his foot down on the possibility of Narendra Modi campaigning for the BJP,political analysts feel. “Narendra Modi is not a factor in Bihar politics,” they said,adding,”Muslims have voted only for Nitish Kumar.”

To add some Rabri insult to Lalu’s injury,the former chief minister has lost in both seats she contested from — Raghopur and Sonepur.

The Congress had hoped to ride on Rahul Gandhi’s charisma but could not make a dent again.

After the landslide win,Nitish Kumar first thanked the women of the state saying they have contributed more to his victory.

He said the government’s hard work has paid off and that the mandate proves the people have voted for development and progress in Bihar. “We have been among the people. This means a lot still needs to be done. The work must go on,” he said.

He added: “I didn’t have a magic wand to force this victory. We have the trust of the people and the will to work harder.”

He said the verdict marks a “new story” for Bihar and it will have its effects outside the state too. The poll verdict will be a disappointment for those politicking on the basis of caste in Bihar,he said,adding the people no longer want to go back to the “age of darkness”.

Nitish Kumar also asserted that the alliance between JD(U) and BJP will continue in Bihar.

“The alliance will continue and both will share power,” a beaming Kumar told reporters.

Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said Bihar has voted to change its future. He said Nitish and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi gave people hope; their work washed away the fear and despair people had felt during the previous reigns.

“When the alliance won in 2005,people dismissed it as a negative vote perpetuated by the anger the electorate felt towards the last regime. It is a positive vote this term,” he said. Jaitley also took a dig at the Congress party which has fared dismally these elections. “Today’s victory is a message to national politics. Today’s victory says meritorious leadership has triumphed over dynastic politics – the kind that depends on family glamour,” he said.

Surprisingly,the BJP has made bold strides in the NDA alliance by winning 91 seats,a significant gain from its 55 last time. This also indicates that BJP has comparatively done better than the JD(U) these Bihar elections. The BJP,in fact,has swept urban Bihar.

“There is a new hope for Bihar. It reaffirms many political myths will go underground. The biggest myth is a Congress resurgence. Congress is no longer relevant in any part of the country,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javedekar said

The counting of votes for all 243 Assembly constituencies began this morning amid tight security.

Counting for the Banka parliamentary constituency,where a by-election was held,began simultaneously at 8 am.

Counting was taken up in 42 centres,mostly in the district headquarter towns,where central paramilitary forces were deployed.

A total of 3,523 candidates have been in the fray including 1,342 Independents.

In the outgoing House,the ruling parties JD(U) and BJP had 88 and 55 seats respectively. RJD and Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP had 54 and 10 respectively. Congress had 9 seats.

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