As the Bihar election is turning out to be different from what the exit polls have predicted, it also features some unsuspecting turn of events. The left parties — Communist Party of India, CPI (Marxist), CPI (Marxist-Leninist) (Liberation) — in the state are doing very well in around 20 seats, while Congress has fallen to 21. Rashtriya Janata Dal is trailing behind Bharatiya Janata Party, and the latter’s NDA is leading with 126 seats.
While many expected RJD and its Mahagathbandhan to win the election, it is not doing well. One of the possible reasons would be the All India Majilis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen and its alliance Grand Democratic Secular Front alongside Bahujan Samaj Party and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party. Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi’s party is contesting from 14 seats in the 24-seat Seemanchal, where they had given their full focus. The party will be contesting in six more seats outside of Seemanchal. The question wasn’t about whether they would win in all of them, but about how much damage they could do.
During his campaigning, the AIMIM President targeted RJD and the Mahagathbandhan more than the NDA for having ignored development in the area. The Mahagathbandhan members have alleged AIMIM of helping the NDA win. This is partially true. Targeting the RJD alliance, the AIMIM is able to take the votes away from them, but we have to ask if the votes would indeed go to AIMIM. While they can gain votes of their own, it will be at the cost of the Mahagathbandhan and thus the NDA will maintain their vote margin.
This means a leakage for the RJD and allies thanks to the AIMIM but at no profit of their own. Until the latest update, the AIMIM has been leading in three seats, which had been traditionally Congress bastions. This is while the Indian National Congress party had been underperforming in this election. However, with only one-fifth of the votes counted, there is still much to know before we predict the outcome. However, one thing is certain: AIMIM is taking a toll on the Mahagathbandhan.