Patna, Nov 8: The grand alliance is all set to score a landslide victory with nearly a two-thirds majority to give Nitish Kumar a third term in power after decimating the BJP-led alliance in the high-stakes assembly elections in Bihar.
The JDU-RJD-Congress alliance was leading in 166 out of the 243 seats, much more than the half-way mark of 122. The JD (U) alone was leading in 71 seats while the RJD headed by Lalu Prasad was up in 74 seats.
CPI(ML-L) was leading in three seats and independents in four as per the trends available on 240 seats. As the grand alliance surged ahead, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had put up an aggressive campaign addressing over 30 rallies, called up Kumar to congratulate him on the poll victory.
"Had a telephone conversation with Shri @nitishkumar & congratulated him on the victory," Modi tweeted. Immediately thereafter, Kumar tweeted, "Just received a phone call from the Prime Minister congratulating me...thank you Modiji."
BJP chief Amit Shah also congratulated Kumar and Lalu on the massive victory. "Our good wishes to the new government to take Bihar on the path of development," he said.
"We respect the mandate of the people of Bihar... I congratulate Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav on their victory in Bihar Assembly elections," the BJP chief tweeted.
While Nitish Kumar himself did not contest the elections, Lalu is barred from contesting because of his conviction in a corruption case.
His sons Tejasvi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav were leading in Raghopur and Mahua seats while former Chief Minister and BJP ally Jitan Ram Manjhi was trailing in one of the two constituencies he contested.
In Imamganj (reserved seat) Manjhi of HAM is leading over JD(U) rival Uday Narayan Chaudhary by 3,735 votes. Initially, many television channels had projected the NDA to be in the lead.
In the last assembly polls in 2010, the JDU had won 115 seats while BJP won in 91 when both parties had an alliance. RJD had got 24 and Congress 5, contesting separately.