The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is set to register a thumping win in Bihar, according to the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 exit polls released by several agencies on Sunday.
The NDA, which includes Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) and Ram Vilas Paswan-led Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), is expected to win at least 30 out of 40 seats in the state where Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)-led Grand Alliance including Congress and Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) was expected to pose a big challenge to the NDA.
The ABP-AC Nielsen survey predicted 34 seats for the NDA and 6 to the RJD-Congress alliance while News 24 – Chanakya predicted 32 seats for the NDA and 8 for the opposition.
The Republic-CVoter survey gave the NDA 33 seats and the opposition 7 seats. Times Now-VMR also predicted a landslide victory for the NDA in Bihar, giving 30 seats to the alliance.
Another exit poll, India TV-CNX gave 32 seats to the NDA and eight to the Congress and its allies.
If the exit polls are to be believed, it will be quite a turnaround for Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) from the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, where the party got only two seats out of 40 while contesting alone.
During the 2014 Lok Sabha General Elections, the BJP and its allies had won 31 Lok Sabha seats, RJD-Congress-NCP grabbed seven seats while JD(U) was restricted to two seats.
In 2015, Nitish Kumar had stitched a Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) in Bihar, with RJD and Congress and its allies, just before the Bihar assembly elections. But in 2017, he ditched the alliance citing corruption charges on the then Deputy CM of Bihar Tejaswi Yadav.
Nitish Kumar came back to the NDA fold and fought the recent Lok Sabha elections as one of its allies. BJP, which got 22 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, compromised on 17 seats to stitch an alliance with JD(U).
In 2014 General Elections, the BJP, riding on the Modi wave, crossed the magic figure of 272 on its own but formed an NDA-led government at the Centre. The prediction of Bihar Lok Sabha seats augurs well for the NDA, in case BJP falls short of the magic figure of 271 (as the Vellore election was canceled by the election commission after a huge cash recovery).
In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the NDA contested against the Grand Alliance which comprises of five parties: RJD, Congress, RLSP, Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM) and Mukesh Sahni’s Vikashsheel Insan Party (VIP).
According to the exit polls, Upendra Kushwaha, who joined the Grand Alliance after quitting NDA, has not been able to make any significant mark in this election. Similarly, other smaller parties like HAM and VIP has not helped the Grand Alliance arithmetically.
It would be interesting to see what lies in the future for the Grand Alliance in Bihar if the final result mirrors the exit polls.