Bihar polls: Tejashwi cries foul, demands recounting of votes

Yadav said the mandate was in favour of the Grand Alliance, but Election Commission’s result was in NDA's favour

Tejashwi Yadav bristled at Prashant Kishor's unflattering take on his father and party president Lalu Prasad’s term in power

Crying foul play in the counting process, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav has sought recounting of postal ballot votes. Yadav junior said people had supported the Grand Alliance (Mahagatbandhan), but the Election Commission’s result was in the NDA’s favour.

“I thank the people of Bihar. The mandate favoured Mahagathbandhan, but the Election Commission’s result was in the NDA’s favour. This hasn’t happened for the first time. In 2015, when the Mahagathbandhan was formed, votes were in our favour, but the BJP made back door entry to gain power,” said Yadav.

Yadav quoted election data to claim the NDA had got only 12,270 votes more than the Mahagathbandhan, giving enough hints that he thinks foul play got the NDA the majority.


Asked if the Grand Alliance would try to form a government, Tejashwi said, “We will go to the people who gave us the mandate. If they express such a wish we will act accordingly.”

The RJD leader said the Grand Alliance lost 20 seats by a wafer-thin margin. “In many constituencies, as many as 900 postal ballots were invalidated. We got support of the people but the NDA achieved poll victory through dhan, chhal and bal (money, deceit and muscle),” said Yadav at a press conference.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi and CM Nitish Kumar could not stop this 31-year-old. They could not stop the RJD from becoming the single-largest party,” Yadav said.

Also read: Tejashwi is no loser. He made RJD the single-largest party despite odds

Tejashwi Yadav said that Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) has been relegated to the third position in the state. “If he has any conscience left, he must give up his attachment to the chief minister’s chair,” he added.

The NDA has bagged 125 seats, three more than the 122 needed for a simple majority in the 243-seat Assembly. Reports suggest the RJD-led Mahagatbandhan is in touch with at least two of its former allies who are now in the NDA camp.

The RJD got 110 seats and needs 12 more for a majority. Yadav has a chance if he can get the AIMIM (with five seats) and two NDA partners, the Mukesh Sahani-led Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), on its side.

Sahani himself lost from Simri Bakhtiarpur, but his party VIP and Manjhi’s HAM (S) have four seats each. The two parties were with the Mahagathbandhan and switched over to the NDA just before the elections.