Patna: The grand alliance on Sunday scored a landslide victory with a two-third majority to give Nitish Kumar a third term in power after decimating the BJP-led alliance in the high-stakes assembly elections in Bihar.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday evening, Nitish Kumar thanked the people of Bihar for the victory and said that the Mahagathbandhan will work towards the development of Bihar.
“It is a victory for the people of Bihar. It is the victory of Bihar’s ‘Swabhimaan’. Mahagathbandhan has worked in unity and will continue to do so for the development of Bihar. This is a huge victory which suggests people of Bihar have aspirations, we will match up with their expectations.”
“We do not hold any kind of grudges against anyone. Whatever was said and done during the election campaigning, we won’t let it affect our work. We will work with positivity. We respect our Opposition in Bihar, want to work in consensus with everyone to develop Bihar. People across nation definitely wish for an effective opposition, we will respect our opposition,” he added.
Referring to the Centre, Nitish said, “Bihar poll outcome will have national implications as it makes it clear people have a strong alternative at national level. We will expect support from the Centre for Bihar’s growth irrespective of whatever happened during the poll campaign. People have outright rejected attempts at polarisation and given a decisive mandate.”
“I express my gratitude towards people of Bihar, will try our best to match up with their expectations. People have given us a decisive mandate, will introspect in areas where we lost seats with a small margin,” he said.
Following Nitish Kumar’s address at the press conference, Lalu Prasad attacked PM Narendra Modi by calling him an ‘RSS pracharak’.
“Narendra Modi is PM only for the sake of it, but he is actually an RSS Pracharak,” Lalu said.
He further said, “The BJP had its eyes on Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal. It wanted to move eastwards. Bihar stopped them in tracks. BJP is not a political party, it is a farce. There will be long term implications of Bihar’s result on the country.”
“Efforts were made to communalize the society, but people of Bihar defeated that attempt,” he said.
“It is good to know that PM Modi congratulated Nitish ji on the victory. But did he mean it?” asked Lalu.
Taking the conference further, Nitish Kumar said, “There is a growing desire in the country for a strong opposition, it is also the requirement of a functioning democracy…The mandate given by people of Bihar has reflected the mood across the nation. Bihar’s people have gauged the mood of the nation, their verdict has reflected what the country thinks.”
Earlier on Sunday, thanking citizens of Bihar for giving a verdict in favour of the Mahagatbandan, Lalu Yadav had said, “We both express our gratitude to people of Bihar for giving us such a great victory. In Nitish Kumarji’s leadership Bihar will move on a development path.”
He further added, “Nitish ji will continue as the CM, we both will together take Bihar on path of development.”
Lalu also said that he will tour the country and create a people’s movement against Modi government.
Meanwhile, as the grand alliance surged ahead, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had put up an aggressive campaign addressing over 30 rallies, called up Kumar to congratulate him on the poll victory.
Immediately thereafter, Kumar tweeted, “Just received a phone call from the Prime Minister congratulating me…thank you Modiji.”
Conceding defeat, BJP chief Amit Shah congratulated Nitish Kumar and RJD chief Lalu Prasad on their massive victory and said his party respected the people’s mandate.
“Our good wishes to the new government to take Bihar on the path of development,” he said.
“We respect the mandate of the people of Bihar… I congratulate Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav on their victory in Bihar Assembly elections,” the BJP chief tweeted.
Meanwhile, sulking BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha termed the grand alliance’s victory as “victory of democracy” and took a swipe at the top party brass, saying the issue of “Bihari versus Bahri” has been settled once and for all.
“Congratulations to Laluji & Nitishji for this victory in Bihar elections. We bow before people’s mandate. It is the victory of democracy and the people of Bihar. I salute them.
It appears that the issue of Bihari vs Bahari (and Bihari Babu’s absence) has been settled once and for all,” he said in tweets.