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Politics
Highest ever turnout in Bihar; Close fight but Nitish has the edge
05-11-2015

New Delhi: The bitterly contested Bihar assembly elections ended Thursday with a record turnout of 57 per cent over five phases and exit polls predicted a photo-finish Sunday but one projected a sweep by the BJP-led NDA.

Most of the exit polls at the conclusion of voting in the Bihar assembly elections on Thursday predicted that the Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance will win, while some forecast victory for the BJP-led grouping.

While the broad trends from various exit polls forecast a close fight, Today's Chanakya on News 24 channel gave the BJP-led alliance a strong majority with 155 seats (plus minus 11 seats) and the rival JDU-led alliance 80 (plus minus 9). "Others" were predicted to get five seats (plus minus 3).

Polls on Times Now in association with C-Voter predicted 122 seats in a house of 243 to the grand alliance while News X predicted 130 to 140 seats for it. The two channels gave the BJP-led alliance 111 and 90 to 100 seats respectively.

India Today-Cicero poll predicted 113 to 127 seats for the NDA comprising BJP, LJP, HAM (Secular) and RLSP and 111 to 123 for the JDU-led alliance.

Hindi channel India TV forecast 112 to 132 seats for the JD-U led alliance and 101 to 121 for the NDA.

The Nitish Kumar-led alliance was predicted to get a simple majority of 120 to 124 by the News Nation channel, which predicted 115 to 119 seats for the rival alliance.

ABP-Nielsen poll predicted 130 seats for the JD(U)-led alliance against 108 for BJP-headed grouping. 'Others' have been given 5 seats.

In the outgoing assembly, the JDU and BJP had contested elections and together and won a massive majority. The JDU had won 115 seats and BJP 91. The RJD had won 22 and Congress 04 when they contested on their own.

The JDU-BJP alliance broke in 2013 after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced that his party was walking out of NDA over the BJP's decision to anoint Narendra Modi as the chief of BJP's campaign committee for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

In the Parliament elections, the BJP won 22 of the 40 seats and its allies won nine. RJD and JDU had fought separately and won four and two seats respectively. Congress, which contested in alliance with RJD, had also won two seats while NCP one. (With inputs from agencies)