New Delhi: Voting in the five-phase Bihar Assembly Elections concluded on Thursday and results will be out two days later, on Sunday (November 8).
However, the picture was more or less made clear by exit polls conducted by various TV news channels.
While most of these exit polls predicted that the Nitish Kumar-led Grand Alliance will finish first with the BJP-led NDA not far behind; however, one such poll gave the National Democratic Alliance a clear advantage.
Today's Chanakya on News 24 channel gave the BJP-led alliance a strong majority with 155 seats (plus minus 11 seats) and the rival JD(U)-led alliance 83 (plus minus 9). "Others" were predicted to get five seats (plus minus 3).
It may be noted that pollster Today's Chanakya was bang on in predicting the outcome of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and the Delhi Assembly Elections earlier this year.
For example, in the 2014 General Elections, it had predicted 340 plus minus 14 seats for the NDA and 70 plus minus 9 seats for the UPA. And the actual tally was: NDA - 340, UPA - 58.
Meanwhile, most other exit polls forecast a close fight.
Polls on Times Now in association with C-Voter predicted 122 seats in a House of 243 to the Grand Alliance while News X predicted 130 to 140 seats for it. The two channels gave the BJP-led alliance 111 and 90 to 100 seats respectively.
India Today-Cicero poll predicted 113 to 127 seats for the NDA comprising BJP, LJP, HAM (Secular) and RLSP and 111 to 123 for the JD(U)-led alliance.
Hindi channel India TV forecast 112 to 132 seats for the JD(U)-led alliance and 101 to 121 for the NDA.
The Nitish Kumar-led alliance was predicted to get a simple majority of 120 to 124 by the News Nation channel, which predicted 115 to 119 seats for the rival alliance.
ABP-Nielsen poll predicted 130 seats for the JD(U)-led alliance against 108 for BJP-headed grouping. 'Others' have been given 5 seats.
In the outgoing Assembly, the JD(U) and BJP had contested elections and together and won a massive majority. The JD(U) had won 115 seats and BJP 91. The RJD had won 22 and Congress 4 when they contested on their own.
The JD(U)-BJP alliance broke in 2013 after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced that his party was walking out of NDA over the BJP's decision to anoint Narendra Modi as the chief of BJP's campaign committee for the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections.
In the Parliamentary Elections, the BJP won 22 of the 40 seats and its allies won nine. RJD and JD(U) had fought separately and won four and two seats respectively. Congress, which contested in alliance with RJD, had also won two seats while NCP one.
(With PTI inputs)