In a thrilling election in Bihar, where counting went on till late night and margins were tight, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United won a constituency by just 12 votes. The Hilsa seat result has been contested by the opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of Tejashwi Yadav.
According to the results put up on the Election Commission website late Tuesday night, JDU's Krishnamurari Sharan aka Prem Mukhiya won 61,848 votes, while the RJD's Atri Muni or Shakti Singh Yadav polled 61,836 votes.
"Results declared," said the column for Hilsa. The margin was declared as "12".
When the poll panel website showed that votes for Hilsa were still being counted, the RJD alleged an attempt to falsely declare the seat as a JDU win. The party said earlier, its candidate had been declared the winner by over 500 votes.
"The Returning Officer had declared RJD candidate Shakti Singh from Hilsa assembly constituency as the winner by 547 votes. He was told to wait for issuing the victory certificate. But then the Returning Officer receives a call from the Chief Minister's residence and the officer suddenly says the RJD candidate has lost by 13 votes due to postal ballots being cancelled," the RJD claimed in a tweet.
The JDU candidate got 232 postal votes and the RJD, 233, according to the Election Commission.
The opposition alliance alleged that many of their candidates were not given winning certificates due to pressure from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his government. The RJD claimed its alliance had "won" 119 seats instead of 110.
"We are not under any pressure," the Election Commission said in a late night press conference.
The RJD also released a list of 119 seats that it claimed candidates of the opposition alliance had won.