Patna: The BJP-led NDA won 13 out of 24 seats in the Bihar Legislative Council polls on Friday, dealing a major blow to the grand alliance of the ruling JD-U and its allies the RJD and the Congress barely months ahead of the state assembly elections.
The grand alliance, which also has the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), won 10 seats while one seat was won by an Independent candidate.
The BJP won 11 seats and its ally the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) won one seat while one seat was won by an Independent candidate supported by it. However, another BJP ally, the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) was routed.
The results were seen as a major boost for the BJP which wants to secure a majority in the assembly polls scheduled to be held later this year.
Soon after the results were announced wild celebrations broke out outside the offices of the BJP here, while the JD-U and RJD offices — in the same locality — were deserted.
The ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U), which was confident of crushing the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), won five seats, the RJD got four seats and the Congress one seat.
In the last election for the 24 seats, the JD-U had won 10, the BJP 5, the RJD 3, the LJP 3 and Independents 3.
Polling for these seats was held on Tuesday with an estimated 94 percent voting recorded. A total of 152 contestants were in the fray for the 24 council seats.
JD-U candidate Salim Perwej, who was deputy chairman of the council, was defeated from Chapra by the BJP’s Sachitanand Rai.
The BJP was on Tuesday set to return to power in its southern bastion Karnataka as its candidates crossed the half-way mark in vote count, stunning and ousting the ruling Congress and leaving the JD-S at the third spot.
Noisy celebrations broke out in party offices in Bengaluru, New Delhi and across Karnataka as Bharatiya Janata Party nominees were on the victory lap in 118 of the 222 constituencies which voted on Saturday.
This was a dramatic jump from the 40 seats the BJP won five years ago.
The Congress, desperate to retain power in the state amid shrinking appeal nationally, suffered major blows and was ahead only in 62 seats, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah trailing in both the constituencies he contested: Badami and Chamundeshwari.
The Congress leader was way behind G.T Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal-Secular in Chamundeshwari, Election Commission officials said. And after leading initially, Siddaramaiah fell behind B.R. Sriramulu of the BJP in Badami.
In contrast, the BJP’s Chief Ministerial face B.S. Yeddyurappa was ahead of his Congress rival by more than 11,000 votes in Shikaripura.
Energy Minister and Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar said that the numbers indicated that his party was on the way out after five years in power.
Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.
The BJP was overjoyed. “We are in a jubilant mood because we have crossed the half-way mark. We are confident of winning,” spokesman S. Shantharam told IANS.
BJP activists and leaders celebrated noisily in both Bengaluru and New Delhi, waving party flags and shouting slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, their main vote-getter, and party President Amit Shah.
There were also celebrations outside the residence of Yeddyurappa, who has been Chief Minister earlier too.
The Janata Dal-Secular of former Prime Minister H.D. Dewe Gowda, which has been expected to play the role of a kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly, was leading in 40 seats — the same number it won five years ago.
As the vote count progressed, BJP leaders became assertive, saying they were confident of taking power again in Karnataka while Congress leaders began to speak about the possibility of an alliance with the JD-S.
BJP leader and Union Minister Sadanand Gowda said that there was no question of any alliance.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who is in charge of Karnataka, met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi.
Analysts said the BJP was leading in Lingayat dominated seats and the JD-S in Vokkaliga dominated areas.
Expectations of a BJP victory in Karnataka lifted the key Indian equity indices during the mid-morning trade session on Tuesday.