PATNA, Nov 8 - The Grand Alliance today routed the BJP-led NDA in Bihar to score a landslide two-thirds majority in the Assembly giving Chief Minister Nitish Kumar a third term in office in a battle in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi staked his all.
Making a spectacular comeback after the severe drubbing in last year�s Lok Sabha polls at the hands of Modi, the newly-formed JD(U)-RJD-Congress alliance secured 178 seats in the 243-member House. The RJD emerged the leader of the pack with 80 seats, while the JD(U) bagged 71. Both the parties had contested 101 seats each. Congress also made impressive gains winning 27 seats out of 41. It had won only 4 last time.
The BJP-led NDA, for which Modi mounted an aggressive campaign addressing more than 30 rallies, bagged 58 seats. The BJP on its own got 53 seats out of 157 it contested, while its allies also put up a poor show. LJP, led by Ram Vilas Paswan, and RLSP of Upendra Kushwaha got two seats each. Former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi�s HAM won only one of the two seats he contested and lost in all the 19 others it fought in.
In the last Assembly polls, which JDU and BJP fought together, the two parties had got 115 and 91 seats
respectively. The RJD and Congress, which had fought on their own, bagged 22 and 04 seats respectively.
For Modi, the Bihar results are seen as a personal setback for the second time in 10 months after BJP�s disastrous show in Delhi Assembly polls where Aam Aadmi Party secured 67 of the 70 seats, leaving only three to BJP.
After leading his party to a stunning majority in the Lok Sabha polls in May last year, Modi also ensured success for the party in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand, where the party formed government on its own. In Jammu and Kashmir, BJP became part of the coalition government with PDP in March.
After the Modi juggernaut decimated Congress, RJD and JDU in Bihar bagging 31 of 40 Lok Sabha seats, the three rival parties came together in the Assembly bye polls that happened months later. They won six out of the 10 seats that gave them the necessary boost to join forces and repeat the success on a massive scale.
The CPI(ML-L), which contested on its own, got two seats while Independents were successful in four seats. AIMIM of Assadudin Owaisi and Janadhikar Party of Lok Sabha member Pappu Yadav drew a blank.
Appearing together before the media after the results, Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad said the poll verdict would have an impact on national politics as it shows that there is yearning for a �good and strong alternative� and a �powerful opposition� to BJP.
Describing the election as a �milestone�, Kumar said the result was for �harmony� and against �intolerance�. He said efforts at polarisation have failed.
Lalu, while attacking Modi, said the alliance will launch a �strong nationwide movement� against BJP as part of �march towards Delhi� and will begin with a rally within 10 days in the Prime Minister�s constituency Varanasi.
�The priority for the new government will be progress with justice and inclusive growth,� Kumar said, adding the promises of the common programme of the alliance will be honoured.
He said there will be �no ill will� against anybody and the government will work with the opposition with a positive approach for the development of the State.
Kumar said the Prime Minister had called him up to congratulate him and hoped that the Centre would extend all cooperation to his government. He also expressed hope that the package announced by the Prime Minister for Bihar before the elections would be implemented. �We need Central assistance.�
In the overall analysis, the grand alliance got 8 per cent more vote over the rival alliance that translated into a difference of a whopping 120 seats for the winner.
The victorious combine registered an overall 41.9 percent with RJD getting 18.4 per cent, JD (U) 16.8 per cent and Congress 6.7 per cent.
The BJP secured 24.4 percent, the highest by a single party, but it did not translate enough into seats it would have liked. The BJP-led alliance, including its allies LJP (4.8 per cent), RLSP (2.6 per cent) and HAM (2.1 per cent), got an 33.9 per cent votes.
With NDA losing badly, rumblings began in the NDA, including within BJP. Two MPs from the State � RK Singh and Shatrughan Sinha � called for �introspection� and analysis of these results.
NDA ally Shiv Sena also rubbed salt into the wounds of BJP, with its leader Sanjay Raut saying the poll result �denotes decline of a leader� in an apparent reference to Modi and asserted that it will bring in a �new� turn in the country�s politics.