Leaders put up brave face before Bihar poll results

  • Arun Kumar & Vijay Swaroop, Hindustan Times, Patna
  • Updated: Nov 07, 2015 16:16 IST
A combination photograph of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, RJD chief Lalu Prasad and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi. (PTI photo)

The BJP-led NDA and the Grand Alliance (GA) appeared confident about the electoral outcome in Bihar, where the exit polls gave mixed predictions after the five-phase voting ended on Thursday.

On Friday morning, chief minister Nitish Kumar told a small group of visitors at his 7, Circular Road residence that he was sure of victory. He had exuded the same confidence when he thanked voters for extending “tremendous support” a couple of hours after the polls ended. Party insiders said Kumar avoided watching the exit polls and did not even seek feedback from visitors.

Nitish opted to relax at home after a hectic campaigning which saw him address more than 200 rallies.

His ally RJD chief Lalu Prasad spent time with his family and friends at his 10, Circular Road residence. He kept tabs on the exit polls, but did not believe any of them.

“The GA will get 190 seats, while the BJP will be confined to 10-40 seats,” Lalu said, while enjoying ‘samosas’ with wife Rabri Devi and granddaughter. A day earlier, he went to see his cows at the huge cowshed he got built.

An RJD leader said Lalu has his own assessment given his decades of political experience. “He knows the pulse and he is highly confident. He even told visitors to wait for the final outcome, as the contest was not even close. He, however, asked his leaders to be vigilant on the counting day,” the leader said.

In the opposite camp, BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi remained at his Polo Road office seeking feedback over the phone for the last two days. He also held two rounds of talks with senior party leaders and officials — one in the morning and another in the evening.

“We are confident the about NDA’s prospects, as we have got good feedback about the fifth phase too. Now, not much time is left for the final results. Bihar yearned for change and it will happen,” Modi said.

Party sources said Modi, along with senior leaders, discussed the strategy for counting and the way the leaders should conduct themselves on TV or in issuing statements.

“All these things come only through confidence. The BJP’s mission will end only with the results. After all the hard work, now the wait is for the results,” one of them said.

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