Patna: With just a few months left for the Assembly poll, Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal (United) received a setback in the state’s Legislative Council election  on Friday  as the Opposition NDA bagged 14 out of 24 seats.

The July 7 election, touted as the semi-final before the prestigious Assembly poll to be held later this year, saw the  JD(U) managing only five seats while its ally, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), winning just three.  

 The Congress managed to win a single seat, while the Nationalist Congress Party, another constituent of the Janata Parivar, failed to open its account. 

What was more devastating for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is that Balmiki Singh, his party’s sitting Council member from Patna, lost to Independent Ritlal Yadav, convicted in the murder of BJP legislator Satya Narayan Sinha. He is currently in Beur Central Jail here. ­Salim Parwez, another close associate of the Bihar chief minister also lost from Chhapra, known to be a RJD stronghold. 

Elated over the results, senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said: “The poll outcome is a reflection of people’s mood, which will continue even in the ensuing Assembly elections.” He also said that people have “outrightly rejected the opportunistic alliance of Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad. Modi said the magic of Lalu Prasad has finished as he failed to transfer his votes to the JD(U).

Around 94 per cent of 1.33 lakh voters from urban local bodies and three panchayats cast their votes in the Council election that became a direct contest between the NDA and the Janata Parivar.

The BJP contested from 18 seats and gave the remaining ones to its allies, the Lok Janshakti Party and the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party. The JD(U) and the RJD contested in 10 seats each and gave the Congress three and the NCP one seat.

The BJP won 12 seats while Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP bagged one. Ashok Agarwal, an Independent candidate backed by the BJP, won from Katihar taking the NDA’s tally to 14. The JD(U) camp was visibly disappointed. Party’s general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP KC Tyagi said the result is an eye-opener and they need to introspect what went wrong. 

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