Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 7
Several exit polls today gave the RJD-led Opposition alliance in Bihar an edge over the ruling NDA while at least three of them predicted a clear majority for the ‘Mahagathbandhan’, which has projected Tejashwi Yadav as its chief ministerial face.
The exit poll outcome appears to have mirrored the crowd surge in the election rallies of Tejashwi, who had sought to galvanise the youth in particular with a promise of 10 lakh government jobs.
Most of the exit polls also predicted the RJD to again emerge as the single largest party in the 243-member Assembly along with a clear dip in the seat tally of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led JD(U). The counting of votes will be held on November 10. In 2015, the JD (U) had fought the Assembly election in alliance with the RJD and the Congress among other parties, while the LJP was in the BJP-led NDA alliance. This time, the JD(U) is back in the NDA, while the LJP fought the election alone.
The last of the three-phase elections in the state concluded today with a voting percentage of nearly 58 per cent.
The combined turnout for the three phases is a little over 56 per cent — 2 per cent higher than in 2015.
According to one of the exit poll surveys, the Opposition alliance appeared quite popular among the young voters as it has a 12 per cent edge over the NDA among the voters in the 18-35 age group. But the trend reversed in case of older voters.
This is indicative of the fact that the new voters appeared to have no memory linkage to the so-called “jungle raj” of the RJD’s 15 years of rule between 1990 and 2005, which the NDA campaigners trumpeted to the hilt.