With the all-important Lok Sabha polls concluding in the world's largest democracy on Thursday, 1.3 billion citizens of India including an estimated 900 million-strong electorate now await the formation of the 17th Lok Sabha with the 542 (the Vellore polls were countermanded) newly elected members to the lower house of India's Parliament and consequently, the process of forming the next government of India will enter its final stage.
After the thrilling counting day on May 23 which ended in a huge triumph for the NDA and commencement of the formation of Modi Sarkar 2.0, Republic Media Network presents the results which ended in Prime Minister Narendra Modi getting re-elected and the NDA leading a clear majority of 354 seats while the UPA suffered a blow managing to garner only 95 seats, as of 11:30 PM.
In Bihar, where the fight for 40 Lok Sabha seats saw the mahagathbandhan (RJD-Congress-RLD) facing a defeat against the joint forces of the BJP-JD(U)- with the combination winning 39 seats ( BJP - 17 seats, JD(U) -15 seats, LJD- 6 seat) while the 'mahagathbandhan' managed to garner just 1 seats (Congress - 1 seat), as of 11:30 PM
Republic Media Network called the result on Sunday projecting an NDA win in with country's biggest exit poll - the double exit poll in collaboration with the nation's biggest pollsters Jan Ki Baat and CVoter - which presented a projection including granular projections from each of the states and union territories.
Both the CVoter and Jan Ki Baat exit polls predicted that NDA will emerge victorious in the state. While Jan Ki Baat projected that the BJP, JD(U), LJP alliance will win between 28 and 21 seats in the state (11,15 and 4 seats projected for BJP, JD(U) and LJP respectively), CVoter projected 33 as the number that will go in NDA's favour in the state.
NDA: 33 seats (BJP: 13, JD(U) + LJP: 20)
UPA: 7 seats (Congress: 2, RJD: 5)
NDA: 48.7 per cent
UPA: 38.9 per cent
Jan Ki Baat:
NDA: 28-31 seats (JD(U): 11, BJP: 15, LJP: 4)
UPA: 8-11 seats
The BJP and JD (U) had focussed their campaign on improvement in law and order, 50 % reservation for women in panchayats and local urban bodies, and 35 % jobs quota to suit the socialist mindset of the home ground to the JP movement shying away from the hardline Hindutva streak of the saffron party. He had also focussed on the major development issues which plague Bihar while the Prime Minister in his rallies had spoken additionally on nationalism which factored as an issue with voters in Bihar.
While JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar is popular among Bihar, majority of Muslim vote which traditionally favoured the Congress and then RJD shunned the JD(U) chief due to its alliance with the BJP. He did manage to win a portion of the minority votes as voters know that Kumar does not share the hardline Hindutva pitch of BJP and he did work for minorities even when he ran a government in alliance with BJP.
The Yadav vote, of course, went to the RJD who had been campaigning continuously to gather sympathy for their jailed chief Lalu Yadav, who is serving sentences in fodder scam cases and has not been able to secure bail, even on health grounds. The infighting between the sons of Yadav - Tejashwi and Tej Pratap had left the support divided with their followers warring against each other.
While Nitish is seen as 'susashan babu' (development man) in the state, Tejashwi Yadav said to be the face of Mahagathbandhan, had campaigned extensively on the corruption allegations on Nitish Kumar and his current deputy Sushil Kumar Modi.
Madhepura: A 'Yadav bastion', had an interesting contest. The sitting MP of Madhepura is Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav who won the Lok Sabha seat in 2014 by defeating Sharad Yadav. While in 2014 he won on an RJD ticket, Pappu Yadav has since formed his own party - Jan Adhikar party - upon being expelled by Lalu Yadav. He once again took on Sharad Yadav.
Begusarai: The Begusarai constituency, which is among the most talked about seats in Bihar, recorded a comparatively high turnout of 61.27%, as per the EC. The constituency has been under a microscope as it was witnessing the electoral debut of CPI candidate Kanhaiya Kumar, the controversial former JNUSU president who was pitted against BJP leader and union minister Giriraj Singh. The Mahagathbandhan nominee was Tanweer Hasan (RJD).
Patna Sahib: In the Patna Sahib constituency that covers the entire Patna city, capital of Bihar and part of outskirts, the contest was between former BJP leader and now a Congress candidate Shatrughan Sinha and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Known to be a BJP bastion, Sinha was confident about his victory due to his image as a "Bihari Babu". While Sinha was seeking to retain the seat for a third consecutive term, this time on a Congress ticket, Prasad was contesting to maintain BJP's stronghold in the state.
Patliputra: Lalu Yadav's daughter Misa Bharti is contesting against former Lalu's confidant Ram Kripal Yadav who joined the BJP in 2014 after being denied a ticket from Patliputra. Amid a Modi wave, he defeated Misa Bharti by over 40,000 votes. Bharti made a sharp attack on Yadav wherein she said that she had felt like chopping off the hands of her father's former confidant upon hearing the news of his joining the BJP party ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Bharti lost to Ram Kripal Yadav from Pataliputra Lok Sabha seat but got elected to the Rajya Sabha later.
In 2014 elections, BJP won 22 of 40 seats. But in 2015, Assembly polls when its ally JD(U) joined the Mahagathbandhan with the RJD, BJP was reduced being the third-largest party.
Chief Minister of the state Nitish Kumar broke the alliance with the Mahagathbandhan in 2017 following allegations of corruption on his deputy Chief Minister and RJD supremo Lalu Yadav's son Tejashwi Yadav. After which Nitish Kumar joined the NDA again only to lose leaders like Sharad Yadav from his party.
The likes of Sharad Yadav, former Chief Minister of Bihar Jitan Ram Manjhi, Lalu Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress formed a grand alliance or Mahagathbandhan in the state. Other smaller parties like Mukesh Sahni's Vikasheel Insan Party are also the part of the Mahagathbandhan.
The RJD campaign had seen constant rivalries between Lalu Yadav's elder son Tej Pratap Yadav and younger son Tejashwi Yadav- who is Lalu Yadav's political heir. Tej Pratap had rebelled against RJD on numerous occasions, once even campaigning against his father-in-law Chandrika Rai who was RJD's Saran candidate. These inner rifts in the Yadav family had left the support divided with Tejashwi's followers warring against Tej Pratap's followers. Tej Pratap's main issue was not securing nomination for his friends in favourable seats like Jehanabad and Sheohar.
Apart from this Tej Pratap had also claimed a threat to his life and had also alluded to his exit from the RJD forming his rebel party 'Lalu-Rabri Morcha', Following this he was made to toe the party line when his father pulled him up for his actions.
JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar also stirred a controversy by claiming the Bihar special status matter will be taken up post-polls after exit polls indicated a favourable NDA win.
The Lok Sabha election stretched for more than one month saw heated campaigning from all parties. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking a second term in the office, addressed a total of 144 rallies and roadshows this election season, Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressed 125 rallies in the 2019 polls with the elections also marking the entry of his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as an official member of the Congress.
A number of Republic Media Network newsbreaks especially set the agenda for the polls, including the first interview of the Prime Minister's election campaign to Republic's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and his final campaign interview to Executive Editor Abhishek Kapoor. Alongside these were the sensational #MPsOnSale sting on sitting MPs who showed themselves willing to compromise the interests of those whom they claim to represent, the Operation Karz Maafi sting that exposed the falsehood in the Congress' farm loan-waiver promise, and numerous others