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Update: 9.55 am

BJP’s Jamui candidate Shreyasi Singh leads over RJD’s Vijay Prakash by 1,323 votes in early trends. JD(U)’s Chandrika Roy leads over RJD’s Chhote Lal Ray by 49 votes in Parsa seat in early trends

Update: 9.45 am

Initial trends of Bihar Assembly results, based on the counting of postal ballots, favoured the Maha Gadbandhan (grand alliance) led by the RJD. 

As the trends of about 199 seats of the total 243 seats available, the grand alliance is leading in 106 seats and the ruling NDA was leading in 79 seats. Other parties, such as the LJP, were leading in 14 seats. 

The exit polls had predicted a clear lead for the grand alliance. The alliance leadership had claimed that it will sweep the polls. The JD(U)-BJP alliance was also confident that it will retain power. 

The grand alliance has the Congress and three Left parties as constituents other than the RJD. The LJP, which left the NDA ahead of the polls, hopes to be the kingmaker in the State. 

Update: 9.30 am

The early trends on the Election Commission shows that the BJP in Bihar is leading in 10 seats with the JD (U) leading in six seats and RJD in five, with the BSP Cong and VSIP leading in one seat each. Currently leads are available for 28 of the 243 seats in the Bihar Assembly.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal is leading in five seats and its ally Congress in three and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in one seat.

The Bahujan Samaj Party is leading in one seat.

Polling for the 243 seats in Bihar Assembly was held in three phases beginning October 28, with the last phase of polls being held on November 7.

Counting begins

Counting of votes got under way Tuesday morning for the three-phase Bihar assembly elections that may herald a new era in state politics, with exit polls predicting a victory for the RJD-led Grand Alliance.

The exercise will decide the electoral fate of over 3,700 candidates who are in the race to win the 243 seats of the state assembly.

Counting started at 8 am at 55 centres spread across 38 districts amid tight security and precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19 pandemic during the process. Over 57 per cent of about 7.30 crore electors have exercised their franchise in what is the first major election in the country since the onset of the pandemic.

Votes are also being simultaneously counted for the Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha by-poll, which was necessitated by the death of JD(U) MP Baidyanath Mahto.

Officials said the trends and results might be delayed a bit this time as the number of polling stations were raised from 72,723 earlier to 1,06,515, an increase of 46.5 per cent, to ensure adherence to social distancing measures in view of the pandemic.

A total of 3,733 candidates are in the fray, including 371 women and a transgender.

Most exit polls have predicted a rout for the ruling JD(U)-BJP combine and a resounding victory for the Grand Alliance (Mahagathbandhan) led by RJD’s 31-year-old chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav.

According to Chief Electoral Officer H R Srinavasa, central armed police forces have been deployed at the strong rooms, where the EVMs have been stored since the completion of voting, and the halls where these are being unsealed now.

Of the state’s 243 assembly constituencies, among the most keenly watched will obviously be Raghopur in Vaishali district from where Tejashwi Yadav is seeking re-election.

Raghopur has been in the past represented by his parents Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi, both former chief ministers.

Nitish Kumar is a member of the state’s legislative council and has not contested the assembly election.

Tejashwi’s elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav is contesting from Hasanpur in Samastipur district.

Tuesday’s counting will also decide the political fate of nearly a dozen of ministers.

Prominent among them are Nand Kishore Yadav (Patna Sahib), Pramod Kumar (Motihari), Rana Randhir (Madhuban), Suresh Sharma (Muzaffarpur), Shrawan Kumar (Nalanda), Jai Kumar Singh (Dinara) and Krishnanandan Prasad Verma (Jehanabad).

Prohibitory orders are in place outside the counting centres to prevent people from gathering in large numbers, officials said.

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