After more than 14 hours of counting, dozens of twists and turns and allegations of cheating, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was announced as the winner of the Bihar Assembly election in the (very) early hours of Wednesday morning.
Boosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s several rallies, the NDA hit the majority mark of 122 at 2.57 AM. According to data on the Election Commission’s website, the BJP won 72 seats to emerge as the senior member in its alliance with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s JDU, which managed just 42.
Smaller members, including the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) of former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, claimed eight seats.
At 3.03 AM the BJP was still leading in two other seats and the JDU in one.
The opposition mahagathbandhan, led by the RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, put up a strong fight but eventually failed to muster enough numbers. With 75 seats, however, the RJD emerged as the single-largest party – a testament to the hard work put in by Mr Yadav.
The Congress, viewed by many as a liability, had a low-key presence on the campaign trail and contested 70 seats but only won 19.
Three Left parties that were part of the opposition alliance won 16 seats between them.
Shortly before the results were confirmed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah both tweeted and thanked the people of Bihar for “backing the NDA’s development agenda”.
PM Modi said the NDA would “work for the balanced development of every person, every region” of the state.
Mr Shah said: “Every section of Bihar has… backed the NDA’s development agenda” and added: “This is a win for the double-engine development of PM Modi and Nitish Kumar”.