For Lalu Yadav’s son Tejashwi, who turned 31 a day before the results, it was a case of so near, yet so far. In terms of vote-share, the difference between NDA and the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan was literally wafer-thin. At the end of a cliffhanger unlike any that India has been witness to in recent times, what separated NDA and MGB in terms of the total votes they got was a mere 12,768 (out of about 3.14 crore). NDA polled 1,57,01,226 votes and MGB 1,56,88,458 votes.
That’s just 0.03% of the total votes polled in the state, with NDA’s share being 37.26% and MGB’s 37.23%.
It’s also considerably less than the average victory margin of 16,825 in these polls; incidentally, 130 of the state’s 243 seats were won by margins in excess of 12,768 votes. So, if MGB had got as little as 53 more votes in each of the state’s constituencies or NDA had got that many fewer, MGB’s vote share would have been higher.
The neck and neck fight between the two alliances is in stark contrast to the one-sided contest five years ago when the Mahagathbandhan of RJD, JD(U) and Congress got 1,59,52,188 votes and the NDA of BJP, LJP, HAM (S) and RLSP got 1,29,90,645 votes, a difference of over 29.6 lakh votes or about 7.8% of the total votes polled.