Nitish Kumar thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said the voters of Bihar in his first reaction to the BJP-dominated victory that saw him win a fourth term in power.
"The people decide. I bow to them for giving the NDA a majority. I am also grateful for the support from PM Modi," the Bihar Chief Minister tweeted.
जनता मालिक है। उन्होंने NDA को जो बहुमत प्रदान किया, उसके लिए जनता-जनार्दन को नमन है। मैं पीएम श्री @narendramodi जी को उनसे मिल रहे सहयोग के लिए धन्यवाद करता हूँ।— Nitish Kumar (@NitishKumar) November 11, 2020
After a long silence, Nitish Kumar posted his tweet as the BJP celebrated the Bihar win in a grand event in Delhi featuring PM Modi and the party's top leaders.
For the five-time Chief Minister, Tuesday's result is a bittersweet one.
The NDA sailed past the majority mark of 122 in the 243-member Bihar assembly, but powered by the BJP's 74 seats. The Chief Minister's Janata Dal United (JDU) was limited to just 43 seats, its tally dropping from 71 in the previous election in 2015.
The BJP, on the other hand, greatly improved its tally from 53 to 74, gaining an upper hand in Bihar, where it has always played second fiddle to Nitish Kumar.
"The BJP is the only party in Bihar which has increased its seats despite being in power for three terms," PM Modi said in his victory speech in Delhi.
For Nitish Kumar, it would serve as a reminder that his party couldn't manage that feat.
In his diminished state, Nitish Kumar has to accept a BJP that is now in a position to call the shots in the coalition.
There has also been speculation that the BJP could be inclined to go for a change in the top post. But party leaders insist that they are committed to Nitish Kumar as Chief Minister, regardless of the number of seats won by allies.
"Nitishji will remain Chief Minister as it was our commitment. There is no confusion on this," the BJP's Sushil Kumar Modi and Deputy Chief Minister said today. In an election, he added, "Some win more and some win less". "But we are equal partners," said Sushil Modi, who is believed to share a good rapport with Mr Kumar.