"Not Under Pressure": Poll Body Denies Opposition's Claims On Counting

"Sitting in CM's house, Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi are pressurizing the Principal Secretary to call all DMs (district Magistrates)and ROs (Returning Officers) to get a decision in favor of the nearest contested seats," the RJD tweeted.

"We are not under any pressure," the Election Commission said.

The Election Commission on Tuesday denied Bihar's opposition alliance allegations that their candidates were not being given winning certificates due to pressure from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his government. "We are not under any pressure ...results have been declared only on 146 seats," the Election Commission had told the media regarding the Rashtriya Janata Dal's claim that it "won" 119 seats.

Late in the evening, the RJD had released a list of 119 seats, claiming they were won by the candidates of the RJD, Congress and the Left alliance. But though the names were in the Election Commission website, the candidates had not received the victory certificates, the party said. The Congress backed up the allegations, saying one of their victorious candidates did not receive the certificate.

Late in the evening, Rashtriya Janata Dal's Manoj Jha met the Election Commission officials, claiming that he did not "trust the administration". The party also held a demonstration in Patna. "There are discrepancies. We expect justice from Election Commission," said Congress leader Akhilesh Singh.

"In almost 10 seats, the Nitish administration is delaying the count, not giving certificates to the winning candidates. Sitting in CM's house, Nitish Kumar and Sushil Modi are pressurizing the Principal Secretary to call all DMs (district Magistrates)and ROs (Returning Officers) to get a decision in favor of the nearest contested seats," the RJD had initially said in a Hindi tweet.

In a second tweet, the party said, "This is a list of 119 seats where the Grand Alliance candidates have won after the completion of counting. The Returning Officer congratulated him for the victory, but now he is not giving the certificate saying that you have lost. They were also shown winning on the ECI website. Such loot will not work in a democracy".

On Wednesday morning, the JDU-led National Democratic Alliance crossed the half-way mark with win in 123 seats and was leading in 2 seats. The opposition alliance was ahead in 110 seats. Tejashwi Yadav's RJD emerged as the single-largest party in the state with 75 seats.

Through the day, there had been a tight race between the ruling and opposition coalition.  

In the morning, a tough contest was on in nearly 70 seats, where the margin of lead was less than 1,000 votes. By the evening, the number of seats narrowed down to 20, where the margin of lead was less than 600 votes.   

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As the counting progressed, the RJD knocked off the BJP from the position of the party with the maximum number of seats and the NDA slipped below the majority mark after being above it for most of the day. The lead was also narrowed to the point where the two sides were just three seats apart.

But as the NDA clambered back to cross the majority mark again, the RJD complained of tampering.

In seats where the winning margin is low -- from 60 to 560 -- there is pressure, RJD spokesperson Nawal Kishore told NDTV.

In the morning, as the NDA sped past the majority mark, the RJD had advised patience, pointing to the slow counting and claiming the party - predicted to score a victory by exit polls -- will deliver results.  

"The lantern will be lit in the evening," party leader Shyam Rajak had said.