The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was either leading or had won from 126 seats as votes for the Bihar assembly election continued to be counted, figures available with the Election Commission showed at 8 pm on Tuesday. The BJP stood with 74 seats while the Janata Dal United (JDU) led by chief minister Nitish Kumar held 45 seats in its kitty, meaning that the saffron party was the big brother this time. Alliance partners Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) and Vikassheel Insaan Party managed 3 and 4 seats respectively. The Opposition's Mahagathbandhan, spearheaded by RJD leader and CM candidate Tejashwi Yadav was either leading or had won from 110 seats. The Rashtriya Janata Dal held 73 spots while its alliance partner Congress managed 20 seats on its side. CPI had 3, CPI(M) 2, CPI (ML) 12.
The numbers clearly indicated the nail-biter finish Bihar was headed to with the two contestants, NDA and Mahagathbandhan, holding 126 and 110 seats respectively. Now what are the other factors that could sway the election? The "wo" factor may come into play here. "Others" may or may not have been able to secure big numbers but they have the power to turn the tide on either side.
Chirag Paswan's LJP, whose walking out of the NDA in Bihar just ahead of the polls had set off talks that it upset the ruling alliance's applecart, was down in the dumps as it struggled to register victory in any of the seats. Infact, the party did not even find any mention on the EC's website. The LJP is set to fare abysmally as it has neither won nor is leading in any seat despite polling 5.63 per cent of the 2.70 crore votes counted so far.
However, there is no denying that it is because of the LJP that the JD(U) has been hit hard in these polls, which is likely to be instrumental in its defeat in over 30 seats.
Emerging as a surprise, Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM was leading or winning in 5 seats. The party was in the fray for 20 seats, as part of the Grand Democratic Secular Front that has four other parties, including Upendra Kushwaha's Rashtriya Lok Samta Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party. AIMIM did win a seat in a by-election in Bihar earlier, but this time around it appears to be making significant inroads in the Seemanchal region which has a large presence of Muslim voters. Given Owaisi's pathological aversion to the BJP, he could be more than willing to lend a helping hand to the Grand alliance if it falls short of a majority by a few seats.