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LJP sinks but brings JD(U) down; ruling party says Nitish targeted as part of “sinister” campaign

With polling trends on Tuesday showing Janata Dal (United) underperforming in a big way, Lok Janshakti Party president Chirag Paswan appeared to be succeeding in damaging Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led party by playing a major role in its poor show in many seats.

The LJP, though, itself looked to have paid a big price in the process, as the Election Commission data till around midnight showed that it could win just one seat while drawing around 5.7 per cent of votes.

Paswan”s party has, however, been instrumental in the JD(U)”s loss in at least 30 seats, as per the latest voting figures made public by the Election Commission.

As per the latest EC data, JD(U) had 39 and was leading in four seats, a big drop from 71 seats it had won in 2015 assembly polls.

JD(U) spokesperson K C Tyagi told PTI that a “sinister” campaign was run against Nitish Kumar as part of a “conspiracy”.

“Apne bhi shamil the aur begane bhi (Our own also harmed us along with the outsiders),” he said, without taking any names.

He, however, expressed confidence that Kumar will become the chief minister again, noting that top BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have made it clear that he will head the government if the ruling NDA retains power.

The BJP had won 64 and was leading in 10 seats, according to the EC figures. Two other NDA members have won four seats each.

The NDA in total had won or was leading in 125 seats while the RJD-led opposition had won or was ahead in 111 seats.

Edge of seat contest unfolds in Bihar with NDA likely to have wafer thin majority

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