The Bihar 2015 election is completed, and the exit polls point to a very close finish when the live results are published sometime later in the week.
The assembly elections ended Thursday, with five phases bringing a total of 57 percent of voters to the polls.
The election is being portrayed as a battle between the National Democratic Alliance, which used an aggressive campaign led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Nodi’s fierce rival Nitish Kumar, who is bidding for another term as Chief Minister in Bihar. A win by Kumar would be seen as a major setback for Nodi’s administration, India Today noted.
Though one exit poll after the 2015 Bihar election suggested a sweep for the National Democratic Alliance, all others pointed to a very, very close race, the Indian Express noted.
“Of the six exit polls until Friday evening, News 24-Chanakya gave the BJP and its allies a tally of 155 in the 243-seat House and 83 for the Grand Alliance or Mahagathbandhan of the JD(U), RJD and Congress.
“The News X-CNX predicted 130-140 seats for Mahagathbandhan and a survey broadcast by ABP News gave it 130 seats.
“Two other polls said the combine led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had an edge — C-Voter (112-132) and NewsNation (120-124).”
There were some reports of tension in Muslim areas, but voting ended peacefully in these areas. And this comes as the Election Commission said the turnout was “historic,” reaching levels never before seen in the region.
In the weeks before the election, the BJP focused on the local aspects of the race, saying it was not a referendum on the Modi administration.
“There is no question of the verdict in Bihar assembly polls being a referendum on the Narendra Modi government’s performance. If at all, the Bihar polls are a referendum on anything, it is on Lalu Prasad, Nitish Kumar and jungle raj,” said Ananth Kumar, BJP’s poll in-charge in Bihar and union minister.
But Kumar was also very confident, saying he will believe the NDA will end up with a two-thirds majority. He also contested the idea that the Bihar 2015 election results would be close.
“There is nothing called photo finish or tight contest… It does not happen often… It has not happened many times in past three decades as the electorate in a number of states have decisively voted for a party or alliance,” he said.
The close race actually led to some confusing moments on Thursday. At 6 p.m., just one hour after the final phase of voting ended, Bihar election exit polls pointed to an edge to the Mahagathbandhan and Lalu Prasad Yadav launched into a victory speech.
First Post noted that he also had some big predictions on how much his party would win.
He clearly seemed to be in a hurry to claim victory. But he still is not satisfied with the marginal edge that most pollsters have given to him. He claimed that his alliance would win 190 seats. He also reiterated his “agda-pichd” agenda. “Unchi jati ke log bhotar ho gaye hai (upper caste people have become mentally slow),” he said.
About half-an-hour after Lalu finished his nationally televised victory speech, News 24-Today Chanakya exit polls made its big breaking news (prediction) announcement – NDA is winning it decisively. It gave the BJP-led alliance 155 seats and the Mahagthbadhan 83.
— Firstpost (@firstpost) November 6, 2015
It is still difficult to tell how the results will shake out. Reports note that there has never been such a high level of conflicting predictions, which along with the highest voter turnout in 15 years could make for a long wait for final results.
Different exit polls, different predictions. Here they are, all at one place https://t.co/Y2UwpKQZEn
— Rajesh Kalra (@rajeshkalra) November 6, 2015
Live results from the Bihar 2015 election along with full exit polls can be found here.
[Picture by John Moore/Getty Images]