Given 70 seats in the Mahagathbandhan this time as compared to 41 in 2015, the Congress could end up winning lesser than its tally of 27 then.
At 11.30 am, the Congress, according to Election Commission figures, was leading in 21 seats, with a vote share of 9.2%, and looking at a strike rate of around 30%. In 2015, its overall vote share was 6.6%. Compared to it, the RJD was ahead in 65 seats out of the 144 it contested, with a strike rate of 45%. It had won 80 seats last time.
The other Mahagathbandhan partners, the three Left parties, also seemed to be doing well as compared to the Congress. Contesting in 29 seats in all, they were leading in 19 — the CPI(ML) in 13, the CPM in 3 and the CPI in 1 — a strike rate of 65.5%.
While the Congress had driven a hard bargain and managed to secure 70 constituencies, the party was not happy with the choice of seats it was given. “We had identified 95 seats and asked for 70 out of them. Had we got the 70 seats from those 95, our strike rate would have been much, much better. We had to remain with the alliance and the RJD being the largest party wanted everyone to be flexible and adjust a bit. So we did not get seats of our choice. But even then our strike rate will be good in the seats that we got. Even in the past, the Congress was the only party in the Grand Alliance which won a seat in the Lok Sabha elections. We fought on nine seats, and the Congress’s vote percentage was much better than other parties,” Congress in-charge of Bihar Shakisinh Gohil had told The Indian Express during the campaign.
However, should the Mahagathbandhan stop short of a majority, voices in the RJD that had argued that the Congress had been given 15-18 seats too many, more than what the RJD had initially offered, will grow louder.
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