The Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance gained a clear lead over the National Democratic Alliance in the Bihar assembly elections and looked set on Sunday to form the next government as counting of votes entered its final phase. The biggest gainer, according to initial trends, was Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal.
This verdict comes as a huge blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for whom the election was seen as a key test of popularity.
The election may reshape Indian politics as it would mark a comeback for anti-BJP parties at the national level.
After the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, this was the second major setback for the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo after the BJP’s loss in the Delhi assembly elections.
The bitter, high-octane campaign was more on communal and caste lines and not on jobs and development in an impoverished state where two-thirds of the people have no access to electricity.