Patna, Nov 5:
Millions voted on Thursday in Bihar’s assembly polls, bringing down the curtains on a staggered five-phase battle that pitted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP-led alliance against the Grand Alliance of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
A large section of the 66.8 million electorate voted in the staggered elections that began on October 12.
The final day’s polling ended at 5 p.m. in the last of the 57 of the 243 assembly constituencies spread across seven districts.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) banked on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal.
The BJP allies are Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), the RLSP of union minister Upender Kushwaha and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustan Awami Morcha (HAM).
The BJP contested 160 of the 243 assembly seats, the LJP 40, the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party 23 and HAM 20 seats.
In the Grand Alliance, Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal-United and the Rashtriya Janata Dal of Lalu Prasad fielded 101 candidates each while the Congress contested in 41 seats.
The Bihar election is a big test for the BJP, whose winning streak since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls was halted by the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi in February.
The jitters over the outcome of the Bihar assembly polls dented investors’ sentiments in the Indian equity markets and led a barometer index to provisionally close 287 points down on Thursday. (IANS)