Fiery young politician Kanhaiya Kumar lost on his election debut to BJP's Giriraj Singh in Begusarai constituency in Bihar. The former student leader from Jawaharlal Nehru University was contesting on a CPI ticket.
Giriraj Singh polled 6,92,193 votes to Kanhaiya Kumar's 2,69,976.
One of 36 Lok Sabha seats in the state, Begusarai voted on April 23 in the fourth phase of polling. For years known as the "Leningrad of Bihar", it is now a BJP stronghold.
The seat was won by Bhola Singh of the BJP in 2014. He defeated Rashtriya Janta Dal candidate Tanveer Hasan who received 3,69,892 votes. The CPI placed third in that election.
Kanhaiya Kumar's campaign drew much attention, not just for his oratorical skills but because of high-profile supporters like Swara Bhaskar, Shabana Azmi and Javed Akhtar endorsing him in rallies.
The ruling BJP's candidate Giriraj Singh, notorious for asking critics of the government to "go to Pakistan", pitched the Begusarai vote as a "nationalist versus traitor" battle - a reference to allegations that Kanhaiya Kumar was among the organisers of an event in JNU in 2016 in the memory of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, where anti-India slogans were raised.
The 2019 elections, which spanned six weeks registered the highest ever voter turnout in the history of Indian parliamentary elections. The final voter turnout stands at 67.11 per cent, the Election Commission announced on Wednesday.
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) claimed an outsized mandate for a second term in office, with PM Modi's BJP scoring an absolute majority covering large swathes of the country. The BJP has won 300 seats in declared results and is leading in three more in the 543-member Lok Sabha, surpassing its 2014 victory and leaving a shell-shocked opposition struggling to touch even the 100-mark
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