Key rivals for the Bihar Assembly, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are neck and neck after two hours of counting for the 243-seat-Vidhan Sabha.
As per results announced by the Election Commission so far, the RJD is leading on 46 out of 152 seats counted till 10 a.m., while the ruling BJP is trailing by securing lead on 40 seats.
At 9 a.m., early trends had shown the BJP ahead on 8 out of 20 seats after counting began at 8 a.m.
The results are mostly from counting of the postal ballots and EVMs simultaneously at 1,06,515 polling stations across the state.
The Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal-United (JDU) is leading on 32 seats in the third position, followed by Congress (13), Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (Liberation) (7), Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) (5), Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) (3), Communist Party of India (Marxist) (2), and one each with Asaduddin Owaisi’s All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Communist Party of India (CPI) and an Independent candidate.
Counting of votes got underway in the 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 magic number for the winner is 122 in the 243-seat Assembly. The Janata Dal United-led National Democratic Alliance and the Rashtriya Janata Dal-led United Progressive Alliance are the main contenders.
As the elections ended last week, exit polls unanimously predicted a clear edge for the Grand Alliance, also known as Mahagatbandhan, led by RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav.