PATNA:In a major set back to the newly formed secular alliance of the ruling JD(U), theRJD, the Congress and the NCP, the BJP-led NDA on Friday won 14 of the 24 seats in the Bihar Legislative Council polls, considered a semi-final before September-October’s crucial Assembly polls.
The BJP, on a standalone basis, secured as many as 12 seats, while its ally Ram Vilas Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) won one seat. The saffron party also tasted victory through an independent candidate, whom it supported.
In the rival camp, the JD(U) won in five seats, while the RJD managed just three and the Congress one. RJD rebel Ritlal Yadav, who contested as an independent, won from Patna constituency. He is currently lodged in Beur Jail in connection with several cases, ranging from murder to kidnappings.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who was recently declared as the Chief Ministerial candidate of the secular alliance, said he had not equated this election with prestige. “This election is limited to public representatives and it does not concern the public. Further, political parties hardly have any role to play in these polls,” he said in an obvious bid to downplay the poll results.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad, on the other hand, was humble enough to accept the mandate. “The results have not been as good as they should have been. We accept the verdict,” he said.
“We lost some seats like Siwan, Gopalganj and Saran by a slender margin. Division of our votes could have been a factor behind losing at these places,” Lalu added.
The BJP, however, said the outcome of the Legislative Council polls was a clear reflection of public anger against the JD(U) Government, especially against the Chief Minister. “They have collectively rejected the secular alliance and reposed faith in the NDA to deliver the goods,” said BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.
In the elections held on July 7, the stake for the JD(U) was very high as it held 13 of the 24 seats, followed by the BJP with five and the RJD with three seats. The remaining seats were held by independents.
The JD(U) and the RJD each had fielded candidates in 10 seats , while the Congress and the NCP contested in three seats each. On the other hand, the BJP had fielded candidates in 18 constituencies, while its partners the LJP and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) contested in four and two seats, respectively.