The assembly bypoll results of 18 seats in Bihar came as a shock to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with the ruling NDA alliance wining just six seats.
On the contrary, it sent signals of revival of the RJD-LJP alliance, with the Lalu Prasad-Ram Vilas Paswan duo winning eight seats. The Congress also made its presence felt with two seats to its kitty.
The other two seats went to the BSP and an independent.
An independent, wife of the JD(U) MP was declared elected from Ghosi seat.
“We lost because we became callous,” was how Kumar reacted, reminding one of the signboards displayed on National Highways — “sawdhani hati, durghatna ghati (lower your guard, invite accidents)”.
“It’s a wake up call for all of us. It’s good this has happened a year in advance. It will give us energy to work more,” he said.
He blamed local factors and “inside” support by the Congress to the RJD-LJP combine as the reason behind the NDA’s loss. He did not accept that development and good governance had been a loser.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad said, “The results have exposed claims of good governance. We are not finished. We finish others. The result is a warning bell for Nitish Kumar.”
The JD-U, which heads the ruling coalition in the state, retained Munger, Triveniganj, Dhuraiya and Bagha, while its ally BJP pocketed Begusarai and Chainpur seats.
The RJD emerged victorious in Kalyanpur, Bochaha, Fulwari, Ramgarh and Aurai, while the LJP won from Bodh Gaya, Warisnagar and Araria seats. The Congress wrested Simri Bakhtiarpur and Chenari seats from the JD (U), which yielded Nautan seat to the BSP.
The loss in the bypolls, regarded as semi-finals before the assembly elections due next year, means a lot for the ruling parties with chances of alliance coming under scrutiny once again. Kumar, however denies it. “We are together and will remain together.”