New Delhi,November 8: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) conceded defeat in the Bihar assembly election on Sunday as the Grand Alliance led by chief minister Nitish Kumar surged ahead in almost twice the number of constituencies where the BJP and its allies were leading.
"This defeat calls for a serious rethink," BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said. The party accepted the verdict "humbly" and would analyse and introspect seriously on what had gone wrong for the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and congratulated him on the victory.
At 3.05pm, the Grand Alliance comprising Kumar's Janata Dal (United), or JD (U), Lalu Prasad's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress party had won 13 seats and was leading in 160, with the NDA winning five and ahead in 53, according to the Election Commission website (http://eciresults.nic.in/).
"Grand Alliance will win 150 seats," said Sharad Yadav, president of JD (U). In the last polls in 2010, BJP had won 91 seats, the JD (U) got 115, RJD 22 and Congress four.
The Grand Alliance forged into the lead and kept building on it, reversing early trends that showed the NDA ahead.
Counting of votes in the 243 assembly constituencies began amid tight security at 8am. The votes are locked in 62,780 electronic voting machines with 14,580 officials on duty for the counting process in Patna and other districts, officials said. The fate of 3,450 candidates will be decided during the day. The five-phase elections started on 12 October and ended on 5 November.