Patna: The ruling NDA retained its dominance by capturing more than half of the counting of votes on Thursday for 24 seats of the Bihar Legislative Council after polling on April 4. Lalu Prasad’s party RJD also managed to improve its tally by winning six seats in this election. However, it contested 23 seats, the highest number for any party. The shocking thing in this election is that the rebels contested as independents and won four constituencies.
The term of 24 members in Bihar’s 75-member Legislative Council ended in July last year but the elections had to be postponed due to circumstances arising out of the Corona pandemic. The Legislative Council elections were also delayed due to the delay in the panchayat elections due to the pandemic. The BJP, which is part of the ruling NDA in Bihar, contested 12 and won seven seats.
The party faced embarrassment in places like Saran which went to former MLC Satchidanand Rai. Rai was a veteran BJP leader who had jumped into the fray as an independent after being denied a ticket from his old seat. Bihar’s main opposition RJD has also faced similar humiliation at the hands of rebel independent candidates in Madhubani (Ambika Gulab Yadav) and Nawada (Ashok Yadav).
In East Champaran, Congress-backed Independent candidate Maheshwar Singh won, while from Begusarai only one of his candidates, Rajiv Singh, defeated former MLC and BJP candidate Rajnish Kumar. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s party JDU has won only in five constituencies. It had occupied eight of the vacant seats in the past. However, JDU’s victory includes a landslide victory in the chief minister’s native district of Nalanda (Reena Yadav), besides a landslide victory by Dinesh Singh in Muzaffarpur and Radhacharan Seth in Bhojpur.
The Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party, led by Pashupati Kumar Paras, brother of the late Ram Vilas Paswan’s party, won in Vaishali where its candidate Bhushan Rai defeated his nearest RJD rival. A party delegation led by RJD MLA Bhai Virendra met the Chief Electoral Officer regarding irregularities in counting of votes for the results of Saharsa-Madhepura-Supaul seat and finally Ajay Singh of the party was declared the winner.
This seat was earlier held by Nutan Singh whose husband Neeraj Singh Bablu is a minister in the state cabinet. He was again fielded by BJP this time. His younger son and former deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav, considered the political heir of former chief minister Lalu Prasad, had fielded a large number of upper caste candidates in this time’s council elections and inherited MY (Muslim-Yadav) from his father. Tried to wash away the allegations of being a party of equations.
The four winning RJD candidates are from a numerically smaller but socially and politically influential group. More importantly, three of the RJD winners are from Bhumihar. With its current performance, the RJD now has enough numbers in the 75-member Legislative Council for its leader Rabri Devi to retain the post of Leader of the Opposition.