Patna : A monumental vote share of 53.25 per cent propelled the NDA, comprising the BJP, Chief Minister Nitish Kumars JD(U) and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswans LJP towards a stupendous victory in Bihar, where it ended up winning all but one of the 40 seats.
This is the best performance for any political formation in the state in many decades.
The BJP, which contested 17 seats, less than half of the total, garnered 23.58 per cent of the total votes polled in the state which helped it come up with its best ever strike rate of 100 per cent even though its tally fell by five compared with 22 of 2014 when it had fought 30 and its vote share this time was also lower than 29.40 per cent it had polled last time.
The JD(U), for which BJP gave up five of its sitting seats, contested the same number as its alliance partner and ended up with a marginally lower vote share of 21.81 per cent, bagging 17 seats and losing one to the Congress.
Kumars party had fought separately in 2014 and returned with a dismal tally of two seats, which had driven the Chief Minister to resign, taking moral responsibility for the JD(U)s drubbing.
It was a humiliating performance for the popular Chief Minister as his party fought 38 seats, leaving two for the CPI, and ended up forfeiting deposits in 25. Despite having contested a number of seats that was twice as much as this time, the JD(U)s vote share was substantially lower in 2014 at 15.80 per cent.
The BJPs decision to forgo its sitting seats in favor of the JD(U) had led to some discomfiture among local leaders as they thought it was tantamount to conceding some ground to a weaker ally. In the hindsight, though, party president Amit Shah who had announced the seat sharing formula in New Delhi
might be having the last laugh.
The LJP, which had polled 6.40 per cent of the total number of votes in 2014, when it contested seven and won six.
The party, which had to forgo its sitting seat of Munger to make way for the JD(U) and try its luck from Nawada, which was held by BJPs Giriraj Singh, maintained its tally of six seats while witnessing a jump in its vote share which was 7.86 per cent.