The BJP-led NDA is all set for a stupendous victory in Bihar, surging ahead of its rivals in 38 out of 40 seats and it may turn out to be the best performance for any political formation in the state, in decades, if the trends are translated into results.
While the BJP is leading in 16 out of the 17 seats it had contested, Chief Minister Nitish Kumars JD(U) which returned to the NDA a couple of years ago and contested as many constituencies is surging ahead in all but one seat.
Ram Vilas Paswans Lok Janshakti Party is leading in all the six seats it had contested. Among the opposition parties, the RJD which had ruled the state for 15 years since 1990 and is currently the party with the highest number of members in the state assembly appears headed for decimation as party supremo Lalu Prasads daughter Misa Bharti the sole party candidate with a slender lead over the NDA rival, BJP leader and Union minister Ram Kripal Yadav.
The Congress, which is leading in only one, may be headed for its worst ever performance in a state where it has for long been relegated to the position of a marginal player. Congress had two Lok Sabha seats in Bihar in 2014 while RJD had four.
As per the figures made available by the Election Commission, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad seems poised to retain the Patna Sahib seat for his party, wresting it from sitting MP Shatrughan Sinha, who had crossed over to the Congress less than two months ago. As per EC figures, by 2 P.M. Prasad had established a lead of over 1.75 lakh votes.
In Begusarai, Union minister Giriraj Singh is all set for a massive win with an unassailable lead of 3.45 lakh votes over nearest CPI rival Kanhaiya Kumar. Mahagathbandhan constituents RLSP, HAM and VIP, which had contested a total of 11 seats, may draw a blank. RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha, who had made a successful debut in 2014 as an NDA ally, is trailing in both seats he has contested Karakat and Ujiyarpur.
Former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, who founded the HAM and aligned with the NDA in 2015 ahead of the assembly polls before gravitating towards the Grand Alliance last year, is trailing in Gaya and the two other candidates of his party are meeting with the same fate in Nalanda and Aurangabad. Notably, the NDA has established leads of more than one lakh votes in as many as 28 seats.
Besides Giriraj Singh in Begusarai, the candidates who are enjoying the biggest leads are JD(U)s Badiyanath Mahto (Valmiki Nagar, 2.83 lakh votes) and BJPs Gopal Jee Thakur (Darbhanga, 2.67 lakh votes) and Ajay Nishad (Muzaffarpur, 2.52 lakh votes).
Jubilations were seen in the BJP camp as its supporters took out victory processions in various parts of the state capital with roars of Bharat Mata Ki Jai, Modi Hai to Mumkin Hai and Har Har Modi Ghar Ghar Modi reverberating through the air.
Celebratory mood was palpable at the partys state headquarters in Veerchand Patel Marg as also the JD(U)s office right across the road while an uneasy calm prevailed at the premises of the RJD, a stones throw from the offices of the two NDA constituents.
BJP state media in-charge Nitish Mishra thanked the voters for reposing their trust in the party and slammed the opposition for refusing to acknowledge Prime Minister Narendra Modis unquestionable popularity and casting aspersions on the Election Commission when writing on the wall became clear with exit polls.