The trends are clearly indicating a thumping victory for the RJD-JD(U) grand alliance, popularly called the Mahagathbandhan, in the 2015 Bihar polls. Predictably, a silence sits heavily at the headquarters of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Patna which had been the focal point of a highly charged campaign under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while the grand alliance party workers have taken the party to the streets, smearing each other with coloured powder and distributing sweets.
As the talking heads at television debates dissected the victory, the politicians at the heart of the mostly two-way battle for Bihar have started to analyze the defeat of the BJP and the future of the party. The party is reeling under protests by cultural ambassadors who have joined ranks to raise their voice against communalism and curbs on artistic freedom.
Nitish Kumar, who is called the Chanakya of Bihar politics, had joined hands with his arch rival and RJD chief Lalu Prasad ahead of the elections to counter Modi's aggressive campaigning.
Here are some of the reactions of political leaders after the elections:
Amit Shah, BJP: We respect the verdict of the people in Bihar. We wish the new leadership and hope they lead the people of Bihar in the path of development.
हम बिहार की जनता के जनादेश का सम्मान करते हैं |
नई सरकार को मेरी शुभकामनाएं कि वह बिहार को विकास के पथ पर आगे ले जाए |
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) November 8, 2015
Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena: The PM had invested a lot in the Bihar election. Sanjay Raut of Shiv Sena said that Bihar election results will mark a "new turn" in national politics as it "denotes decline of a leader". Kumar has emerged as a super hero.
Rahul Gandhi, Congress: Congratulations to the people of Bihar, to Nitishji, to Laluji, to the Congress leaders & karyakartas (workers) and the Mahagathbandhan on this victory. This is a victory of unity over divisiveness. Humility over arrogance. Love over hate. A victory of the people of Bihar
RK Singh, BJP: People who have been chargesheeted had been given tickets. The party should examine the reasons for defeat.
P Chidambaram, Congress: Yes intolerance was an issue, PM should have taken strong action against errant ministers and leaders.
Nitish Kumar, JD(U): Just received a phone call from the Prime Minister congratulating me.
Shatrughan Sinha, BJP: Wishing great luck to our victorious friends and appealing for introspection to our people. The writing was always on the wall. It appears that the issue of Bihari vs Bahari (and Bihari Babu's absence) has been settled once and for all. It is the victory of democracy and the people of Bihar. I salute them.
Sharad Yadav, JD(U): It was a very difficult fight. On the one hand were moneybags and on the other were principles. It is a victory of principles over moneybags. We will win over 150 seats.
Arvind Kejriwal, AAP: Many congratulations to Nitish Kumar for this historic win.
इस एतिहासिक जीत के लिए बहुत बहुत बधाई हो नीतीश जी
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 8, 2015
Ram Madhav, RSS: I am admitting this is not what we expected. I concede that we have lost a large number of seats. There can't be one single large reason for victory or defeat. Losing it this way is very disappointing, we'll do necessary introspection.
Ram Kripal Yadav, BJP: It is up to the top brass to analyse the results.
Officials trends available for nearly 150 seats on the Election Commission website showed the grand alliance leading in more than 90 seats against the NDA in 50 odd seats.
In a reversal of early trends, the JD(U)-led grand alliance shot ahead of NDA, taking a lead in more than 140 seats, which is well above the half-way mark in the 243-member Bihar Assembly.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee congratulated Nitish Kumar.
He also asserted that if elections were to be held in Maharashtra today, similar results will emerge.
Ahmed Patel, Congress: Well done Bihar. Congratulations to the leadership and workers of Congress, RJD and JD(U). They have worked hard to defeat the false claims of NDA.
Parkash Javadekar, BJP: It is a work of pure arithmetic of opposition unity.
Rabri Devi, RJD: People of Bihar have respected us. I congratulate the people of Bihar.
Asaduddin Owaisi, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen: Wherever there will be a non-Congress face, Mr. Modi and BJP will lose from there.
Rajnath Singh, BJP: Spoke to Nitish Kumar over the phone and congratulated him on his party's victory in Bihar assembly elections.
Chirag Paswan, LJP: I had said this earlier also that Nitish ji has done development in Bihar, maybe that is why people supported him.
(Inputs from PTI)
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