As the third phase voting for the 243-member Bihar Assembly concluded at 6 PM ended with 55.22% voter turnout, exit polls on Saturday predicted a clear edge for the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan with the NDA marginally behind. Some exit polls are also indicating a hung house. Today’s Chanakya-CNN News18 projected 180 seats for the RJD-led grand alliance, 55 for the NDA and eight for others. The majority mark is 122.
Reacting to the exit polls, Congress said Bihar has voted for change. “We are confident that Bihar has voted for a change and Bihar will vote for the change,” said Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala as quoted by PTI.
The ruling NDA, battling anti-incumbency factor, is locked in a fierce contest against the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) in Bihar. 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.
Despite the pandemic, Bihar saw a considerable voter turnout with Phase 1 recording 54% votes –– marginally lower than 54.75 per cent for the same 71 seats in 2015 elections. Similarly, Phase 2 witnessed 55.7% voter turnout as compared to 56.17% recorded last time. With the voting concluding, the focus now shifts to November 10 counting of votes which will give Bihar a new government.