Opposition parties' allegations of miscounting of votes and claims that winning candidates of the Bihar election were not given confirmatory certificates are not based on facts, Election Commission sources said Friday. The poll body said counting was "completely transparent" and "done in front of all parties".
All political parties were given round-wise reports and no allegations were raised at that time, poll body sources further said, calling on opposition parties - led by Tejashwi Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress - to admit the public mandate instead of levelling allegations.
On Tuesday, as the votes were being counted - a process that took over 15 hours because of Covid-related restrictions - the opposition claimed that 119 of their candidates were not being given winning certificates due to pressure from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his government.
The party had earlier tweeted: "... Nitish Kumar administration is delaying counting in 10 seats. Candidates who won have not been given certificates... Nitish Kumar and Sushil Kumar are making the Chief Secretary exert pressure on officials for seats with close margins."
The Congress backed up these claims, saying several of their candidates had also not received winning certificates. Party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala flagged the Rajapakar seat that he claimed had been won by Pratima Kumari (by 1,720 votes) but officials refused the certificate.
The seat was later declared for Ms Kumari, who won by fewer than 1,500 votes from the JDU.
In a late-night press conference after the opposition's allegations, the Election Commission denied there was any pressure from the government and pointed out that at the time of the RJD's claims, only 146 (of 243) seats had been declared.
The BJP-led NDA recorded a closely-fought win over the mahaghathbandan led by Mr Yadav, with the two alliances rarely more than a dozen seats apart in trends. Eventually, at around 3 AM Wednesday, the NDA was declared the winner with 125 seats to the opposition's 110.
Throughout the day the margin of lead in several seats was fewer than 5,000. In 70 of these it was less than 1,000 votes, according to data from the Election Commission.
Individually, the BJP won 74 seats and the JDU 43. Mr Yadav's RJD emerged as the single-largest party with 75 seats. The Congress won 19. The rest were won by smaller parties and independents.