Tue, 10 November 2020
Accept verdict, desist from drama: BJP to RJD

Timeline  Refresh

23:58   People reposed faith in Modi's leadership: Nadda on bypoll results
Bharatiya Janata Party president J P Nadda on Tuesday attributed the party's victory in assembly bypolls in various states to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership and congratulated respective chief ministers and heads of the party's state units.

In a series of tweets, Nadda said people across the country have reposed faith in Prime Minister Modi's leadership and the welfare work done by the Centre and state governments.

Nadda also congratulated chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Karanataka and Manipur and presidents of the BJP's respective state units.

He also congratulated the party's Telagana state unit president Sanjay Bandi for the BJP's victory in the single assembly poll held in the Telangana Rashtra Samiti-ruled state.

The BJP won all eight assembly bypolls in Gujarat, two in Karnataka, four out of five in Manipur, six out of seven.

And in Madhya Pradesh as per the latest Election Commission data it was leading in 16 and won 3 out of the total 28 seats.   -- PTI
23:42   Accept verdict, desist from drama: BJP to RJD
The Bharatiya Janata Party state president Sanjay Jaiswal on Tuesday took a swipe at Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Manoj Jha, saying that the Rajya Sabha member should desist from indulging in drama and accept the verdict.

"Trends are going up and down but we are confident of forming the government. A few people saw the results and started lying. RJD is doing the same thing. When they thought they were winning, then everything was fine, but now they are staging a drama. This type of politics should not be done," Jaiswal said.

The Bihar BJP chief also mentioned that every party should accept the verdict given by people and added that kind of statement by the RJD shows poor mentality.

Jaiswal rubbished any debate on new Chief Minister's face and said, "When our president spoke about it and the Prime Minister is also in consent then why is there a debate on it?"

Earlier, ahead of results of Bihar elections, BJP state president Sanjay Jaiswal hoped for the return of NDA.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has worked for poor in the last six years. Due to the good governance in Bihar, the NDA is coming back in the majority again and for this, I am thankful to the public," Jaiswal added. -- ANI
Nitish Kumar with Narendra Modi
Nitish Kumar with Narendra Modi
23:23   Trends point to slim majority for NDA in Bihar
The National Democratic Alliance appeared to be heading for a majority in Bihar elections as it continued its lead over the Mahagathbandhan as election results poured in on Tuesday evening.  

According to trends from the Election Commission, at press time the ruling NDA was leading on 124 seats and Mahagathbandhan on 111 seats in the 243-member assembly. 

While BJP leaders said that the NDA was coming back to power in the state due to "good governance" in Bihar, a delegation of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress went to meet officials in state electoral office in Patna late on Tuesday evening alleging "tempering" in counting on several seats.  

BJP state president Sanjay Jaiswal thanked people for their support to the ruling alliance. 

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has worked for poor in the last 6 years. Due to the good governance in Bihar, the leadership of NDA is coming back in majority again and for this I am thankful to the public," he said. 

The election results have been delayed as the number of polling stations were increased from 72,723 earlier to 1,06,515, an increase of 46.5 per cent over the previous election, to ensure adherence to social distancing measures in view of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The polls were held in three phases.

-- ANI
23:02   RJD candidates being denied certificates: Jha
As the National Democratic Alliance and the Grand Alliance are locked in a neck and neck fight for Bihar, Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Jha alleged that officials are either not issuing winner's certificates to party nominees or delaying it in at least 30 assembly constituencies.

He said that RJD-headed Grand Alliance is going to form the government in the state and he is 200 per cent sure of that.

"There are 30 assembly constituencies where officials are either delaying or not issuing certificates (to RJD candidates). They are resorting to dilatory tactics. I request the officials to work in an impartial manner as we are going to win," the RJD leader said.

Those 30 seats included Parbatta, Parihar, Barbigha, Madhuban, Triveniganj, Maharajganj, Sarairanjan, Katihar, Kurhani, Bochaha and Khagaria, he claimed.

"We are certainly going to form the government. We are 200 per cent confident of it. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi and officials must keep this in mind," the RJD MP told reporters.

Asked whether he is threatening the officials, he said, "I am just making a request to them to remain impartial."   -- PTI
22:27   NDA to stake claim to form govt soon: JDU
JDU spokesperson Sanjay Singh has said that the NDA will soon stake claim to form the government in Bihar. 

Singh added that Nitish Kumar will soon form the government and become the CM of Bihar.

As per the latest figures, the NDA is ahead with 123 seats whereas the Mahagathbandhan was staring at defeat with 113 seats. 
22:04   Will decide on post-poll alliances after final result: AIMIM chief Owaisi
AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has said that the party will take a decision on post-poll alliances only after the final result of the Bihar Assembly election is announced.

The decision will be taken only after final results of the Bihar Election are declared. Our fight is for development of Seemanchal (Bihar) which is one of the most backward areas of India, Asaduddin Owaisi said on being asked if AIMIM will join hands with RJD to form government in Bihar. 

As per the EC data, AIMIM has won on three seats and is leading on two others.
21:44   CPI-ML, Congress and RJD seek recount of votes
CPI-ML has written to the Election Commission, seeking a recount on in Bhorey, Arrah, Daraundha Assembly seats 'due to dubious counting practices'. 

On all three of these seats, CPI-ML candidates have been defeated in very narrow margins.

In Bhorey, the JDU candidate Sunil Kumar is a former Additional DGP and therefore commands a lot of clout in the administration. The local JDU MP Alok Kumar Suman was seen entering the counting hall which is illegal and prohibited. This was clearly an attempt to influence fair count of votes. As of now, the ECI site shows Sunil Kumar at 73550 votes and CPIMLs Jitendra Paswan at 72524 votes. We seek your urgent intervention to ensure a recount of votes on this constituency, the letter to EC said.

Likewise, we also seek a recount of votes on the Arrah and Daraundha constituencies where there are reports of discrepancies between VVPAT and EVM counts, and other irregularities also, the letter said.

The Congress and RJD leaders are also going to EC office in Patna to raise concerns over irregularities in vote counting.
21:29   91% votes counted till 9pm
The Election Commission has said that 91 per cent of around 3.77 crore votes have been counted so far. 

The EC has declared results on 103 seats while counting for the other 140 seats is still underway.
21:20   Former Bihar CM Manjhi wins from Imanganj
Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) president Jitan Ram Manjhi won the Imamganj seat by a margin of 16,034 votes, Election Commission sources said Tuesday. 

Manjhi defeated his nearest RJD rival Uday Narayan Chaudhary. 

This is the second consecutive win for Manjhi from the Imamganj (reserved SC) seat in Gaya district. 

HAM is a partner of the ruling NDA in the state. 

Manjhi, a former chief minister of Bihar, has been elected to the legislative assembly for many times since 1980.

-- PTI
21:05   Nitish govt delaying counting in 10 seats: RJD
The Rashtriya Janata Dal has alleged that the Nitish Kumar government is delaying counting in at least 10 seats. 

"Winners are not being handed over certificates. Sushil Modi has reached Nitish Kumar's house. From there, they are influencing counting in close contests," the RJD tweeted.

Urging candidates to wait till the end, the RJD on Tuesday tweeted that the party is ahead in 84 seats, according to its realtime data. " The postal ballots have not been counted at several places. So wait till the end. For example, we are leading by 12,000 in Manhar, 14,000 in Fatuha and 10,000 in Suryagadha, but TV channels are showing that we are trailing on these seats," the RJD tweeted.
20:56   Tej Pratap Yadav wins from Hasanpur
Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav's elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav has won the Hasanpur seat in Bihar assembly election 2020.

Tej Pratap, who relinquished the Mahua constituency in Vaishali district, has won the Hasanpur seat in Samastipur district with an astounding 80,991 votes.

According to the Election Commission's website, Tej Pratap secured 47.27 per cent of the votes, while JDU's Raj Kumar Rai got 34.93 per cent.

The key contest in Hasanpur assembly was between Tej Pratap, JD-U's Raj Kumar Rai and LJP's Manish Kumar.

Tej Pratap, the elder son of Lalu Prasad and Bihar's former health minister, contested the assembly polls from Hasanpur assembly seat in Samastipur district.
20:52   Scindia thanks people of MP for clear mandate in favour of BJP
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Jyotiraditya Scindia on Tuesday expressed gratitude to the people of Madhya Pradesh for giving a clear mandate in favour of his party and said the verdict of the bypolls proved that Congress leader Kamal Nath and Digvijay Singh were traitors.

"I am a worker of the Bharatiya Janata Party. I am thankful to the people of the State for giving a clear mandate in favour of the party. Results have proven that Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh are traitors," Scindia told ANI.

He further said that the Congress party's situation would get worse if they kept questioning the credibility of electronic voting machines.

"It has become a habit of Congress to deny the people's mandate by questioning the credibility of EVMs. If they keep doing so, they'll remain in the same place where they are now, or maybe worse," he added.

-- ANI
20:29   Bihar counting: 80% votes counted
For those who are wondering when the Bihar results will finally be out, here's an update for you. 

3.2 crore votes of the total 4.06 votes have been counted so far. As per the latest Election Commission data, 80 per cent of votes have been counted.

Earlier, in a press conference, the EC had said that they hope to complete the counting tonight. They attributed the slow count due to COVID measures being implemented. 
19:55   RJD says 'Pakka, 200%' Mahagathbandhan will win
Addressing reporters outside the RJD headquarters, senior party leader Manoj Jha said that they were "Pakka; 200 per cent" confident that the Mahagathbandan would win the Bihar polls. 

As of now, the Mahagathbandhan is behind the NDA by the slimmest of margins -- it's 120 vs 116 in favour of the NDA. 

However, as of the latest figures, the RJD has emerged as the single largest party. 
19:50   Trump tweets 'WE WILL WIN'
Moving away from Bihar for a minute. 

US President Donald Trump is continuing to lie about the results of the 2020 US elections, writing a series of tweets on Tuesday that claimed big progress was being made in his legal battles against the electoral process despite not having a single victory in the courts or providing any credible evidence to back his false claims.

The president posted multiple all-caps tweets on Tuesday, writing to his nearly 90 million online followers: WE ARE MAKING BIG PROGRESS. RESULTS START TO COME IN NEXT WEEK. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

In a follow-up tweet, he added: WE WILL WIN!

To be clear, officials projections have already indicated US President-elect Joe Biden secured more than the 270 electoral votes required to win the White House, while Trump only earned 214. He does not have the votes for re-election, and has made false claims about the election long before the results were ever announced, saying he could only lose if there was mass voter fraud. 
19:23   'If BJP lets Nitish become Bihar CM, thank Sena'
The Shiv Sena on Tuesday said JD-U leader Nitish Kumar should thank it if he retains the post of Bihar chief minister despite his party winning less
seats in the assembly polls than ally BJP as the latest trends indicate.

Referring to last year's dramatic turn of events in Maharashtra, which saw the Shiv Sena severing ties with the BJP and forming government with ideological rivals NCP and the Congress, Sena MP Sanjay Raut said his party had shown what happens "when word is not kept" by an alliance partner.

"I heard BJP leaders saying in unison (on TV) that only Nitish babu will be the chief minister. Nitish babu should thank Shiv Sena for that. Not keeping promises will not happen in Bihar because the Shiv Sena has shown in Maharashtra what can happen if word is not kept," Raut said.

"Hence, if Nitish Kumar becomes Bihar chief minister, despite winning less number of seats (as compared to the BJP), he should thank the Shiv Sena for it," the Rajya Sabha MP said.

-- PTI
19:14   Sushil Kumar Modi reaches CM residence
With a tight fight shaping up between the NDA and the Mahagathbandhan, Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi and BJP MP Bhupendar Yadav have reached the residence of CM Nitish Kumar in Patna for discussions.
18:54   BJP hands out bag of goodies for Diwali
BJP MLA Ashish Shelar needs a special mention for being thoughtful. The MLA from Bandra, Mumbai, has been distributing Diwali goodies, 'farsan', as Mumbaikars know it, to homes which have lost a family member during the lockdown and therefore will not be celebrating Diwali. The goodies include chivda, chakli, spicy sev and shankarpali. Unfamiliar names? Look them up here.

A happy Diwali to you, Mr Shelar
Early celebrations in the BJP camp
Early celebrations in the BJP camp
18:40   Bihar poll officials told not to hurry: EC
Election Commission presser on the counting of votes in Bihar: "The emphasis of the Election Commission is that procedures and guidelines relating to counting and COVID are to be sincerely followed. EC has directed that officials need not be in haste or hurry to declare results, they should take as much time as naturally required," the Secy-Gen, Election Commission, said.

The EC added that as far as Bihar is concerned, on the whole 7737 scheduled rounds were there, of which 4858 have been completed. 119 constituencies have done more than half of the work which was there for counting.

NDA: 121, MGB: 114, LJP 0, OTH: 8
18:21   Sensex touches 43,000-mark
Equity benchmarks rallied to fresh lifetime highs on Tuesday, propelled by banking and finance stocks, after positive results from Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine trials turbocharged global market sentiment. Climbing for the seventh session on the trot, the BSE Sensex soared 680.22 points or 1.60 per cent to close above the 43,000-mark for the first time at 43,277.65.

Intra-day, the 30-share benchmark touched its lifetime peak of 43,316.44. The broader NSE Nifty too ended at its all-time high of 12,631.10, up 170.05 points or 1.36 per cent. It hit an intra-day record of 12,643.90 during the session. Both the benchmarks scaled record highs for the second straight session.
Chirag Paswan's LJP has scored a zero so far
Chirag Paswan's LJP has scored a zero so far
18:18   'Sinister' LJP sinks but takes with it JD-U
With polling trends on Tuesday showing Janata Dal (United) underperforming in a big way, Lok Janshakti Party president Chirag Paswan appeared to be succeeding in damaging Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led party by playing a major role in its poor show in many seats.

The LJP, though, itself looked to have paid a big price in the process, as the Election Commission data till 5.30 pm showed that neither had it won nor was it leading even in a single seat while drawing around over 5.6 per cent of votes. 

Paswan's party has, however, been instrumental in the JD(U)'s loss in at least 30 seats, as per the latest trends made public by the Election Commission. 

As per the latest EC data, JD(U) had won two and was leading in 41 seats, a big drop from 71 seats it had won in 2015 assembly polls. JD(U) spokesperson K C Tyagi told PTI that a "sinister" campaign was run against Nitish Kumar as part of a "conspiracy". 

"Apne bhi shamil the aur begane bhi (Our own also harmed us along with the outsiders)," he said, without taking any names. He, however, expressed confidence that Kumar will become the chief minister again, noting that top BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have made it clear that he will head the government if the ruling NDA retains power.

The BJP was leading or had won in 71 seats, according to the EC trends. Two other NDA members were leading in eight seats. The NDA in total had won or was leading in 122 seats while the RJD-led opposition had won or was ahead in 110 seats. -- PTI 
Manoj Jha,  MP, RJD
Manoj Jha, MP, RJD
18:04   RJD, 71 leads, ahead of BJP, 67 leads
The Rashtriya Janata Dal's confidence doesn't seem unfounded. "Bihar is going to get its own government and nobody can stop it. I request Chief Minister whose exit is confirmed, to stop calling returning officers to slow down the counting of votes. He can only delay his defeat," Manoj Jha,  MP, RJD said.

As the sun sets, RJD's lantern shows the light. As of now, the leads are:
NDA: 123, MGB: 111.

According to the Election Commission, the RJD is leading in 71 seats, against the JD-U's 41 seats. The BJP is at 67. The MGB has won 4 seats against the NDA's two seats. Hold your horses. 
File pic
File pic
17:43   Amit Shah speaks to Nitish, MGB narrows lead
Home Minister Amit Shah has spoken with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over the phone even as figures indicate the National Democratic Alliance is leading in Bihar. The Janata Dal United is a partner of the NDA in the state. The NDA is leading in 125 seats, the RJD lead Mahagathbandhan in 107. 
17:29   BJP wins Dubbaka Assembly bypoll in Telangana
BJP has won in the Dubbaka Assembly by-election, informed Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday.

BJP's M Raghunandan Rao defeated TRS' Solipeta Sujatha by 1,470 votes.BJP secured 62,772 votes, TRS secured 61,302 votes and Congress bagged 21,819 votes.

The vote share of BJP in the by-election was 38.21 per cent as opposed to TRS' 38.08 per cent.BJP has managed to secure the second assembly seat in Telangana after winning in Dubbak. ANI
File pic
File pic
17:27   Ruling BJP wins both assembly bypoll seats in Karnataka
The ruling BJP in Karnataka on Tuesday won the byelections to two assembly constituencies, wresting the seats from opposition Congress and JDS. It created history, recording its first ever victory in the Sira assembly segment in Tumakuru district with party candidate Dr C M Rajesh Gowda romping home with a margin of over 12,000 votes. 

N Munirathana emerged the winner in Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency with a margin of over 58,000 votes against his nearest Congress rival Kusuma H, officials said. 

Munirathna had won the RR Nagar seat as a Congress candidate in 2018 and the bypoll was necessitated by his disqualification, following which he joined the BJP last year. This is the third straight victory for Munirathna since 2013 in the constituency and his first as the BJP candidate.
17:22   EVMs absolutely robust and tamper-proof: EC
Against the backdrop of some leaders questioning the reliability of EVMs, the Election Commission (EC) asserted on Tuesday that the machines are "absolutely robust and tamper-free".

After the ruling NDA took a lead over the opposition Grand Alliance in the poll trends for Bihar on Tuesday, Congress leader Udit Raj raised questions on the reliability of EVMs, asking why the machines cannot be hacked if satellites can be controlled from the earth. But another Congress leader, Karti Chidambaram, said the electronic voting machine (EVM) system is robust, accurate and dependable.

"This has always been my view. I stand by it. There have been doubters of the EVM from across political parties, particularly when the results don't go in their favour. Till now no one has demonstrated scientifically their claims. Whatever be the outcome of any election, it's time to stop blaming the EVM. In my experience, the EVM system is robust, accurate and dependable," he tweeted. 

Responding to a question on doubts being raised by some politicians, Deputy Election Commissioner in-charge of EVMs Sudip Jain told reporters here that the machines are absolutely robust and tamper-proof. "It has been clarified time and again that EVMs are absolutely robust and tamper-proof. Even the Supreme Court has upheld their integrity more than once," he said.

Jain recalled that in 2017, the commission had offered an "EVM challenge" to political parties. "The integrity of EVMs is absolutely without any doubts and merits no other clarification," he said. Udit Raj asked if Donald Trump could have lost in the US presidential polls had EVMs been used. 

"If the direction of satellites to Mars and Moon can be controlled from the earth, then why can't EVM be hacked," he wrote on Twitter. "If elections were held in America with EVMs, could Trump have lost," he asked. Udit Raj is the Congress party's national spokesperson. He is a former BJP MP from Delhi. PTI
17:17   BJP wins 4 out of 5 Assembly seats in Manipur by-polls: CM N Biren
Chief Minister of Manipur N Biren Singh announced that they have won four out of five Assembly seats in by-elections on Tuesday.

According to the Election Commission of India, Oinam Lukhoi Singh has won from Wangoi, Ginsuanhau from Singhat, Ngamthang Haokip from Saitu and Paonam Brojen Singh from Wangjing Tentha Assembly seats. All these four are Bharatiya Janata Party candidates.Independent candidate Y. Antas Khan won from Lilong assembly seat.

Taking to twitter, N.Biren Singh said, "A huge day for @BJP4Manipur! We won 4 out of 5 seats -@BJP4Manipur contested only in 4 ACs- in #Manipur Assembly Bypoll. Once again the people of Manipur show their trust in principles and ideology of @BJP4India and leadership of Hon'ble PM, Shri @narendramodi ji."

By-polls were held in five Assembly constituencies in the state on November 7. -- ANI
16:43   BJP workers head to HQ
BJP workers gather at the party headquarters as official trends show NDA's lead in Bihar.
16:40   JD-U wins two seats
From the Election Commission: JD(U) wins two seats and leads on 42 seats as EC declares results of the assembly polls. 
NDA leading on 129 seats 
Mahagathbandhan on 103 seats 
BJP 73
JDU 49
RJD 66
CPI(ML) 12
INC 21
BSP on 2 seats 
AIMIM on 4 seats 
LJP on 2 seats 
Independents on 3 seats
16:25   No EVM tampering when Cong won 114 seats, asks Shivraj
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan waves to people gathered at his residence in Bhopal as trends show BJP leading in the state bypolls. The CM reacted to Digvijaya's EVM tampering claim saying, "Last time when his (Digvijaya Singh) party won 114 seats in the elections, then there was no issue in EVM? He never accepts the truth. He can only make excuses for the defeat of his party."
16:19   PM wants Nitish to lead Bihar: State BJP chief
With the NDA leading in 13128 of the 243 seats in Bihar assembly, BJP state chief Sanjay Jaiswal said there is no dispute regarding who will lead the government if the alliance returns to power in the state. A party or a coalition requires 122 seats to form the government in Bihar.

"The issue has been cleared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief J P Nadda much before the elections," he said, while responding to a query whether Chief Minister Nitish Kumar will lead the NDA government if the alliance secures a majority in the assembly.

Without naming RJD leader and Grand Alliance chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav, Jaiswal took a swipe at him, saying, "People are intelligent enough to distinguish between truth and falsehood."

Earlier in the day, the JD(U) exuded confidence that the NDA will again form a government in Bihar under Kumar. "I have been saying this for a long time that the NDA will form the government under the leadership of CM Nitish Kumar. The opposition ran a misleading campaign with several allurements to woo voters," state JD(U) chief Vashishtha Narayan Singh told reporters.

When asked whether the BJP or the JD(U) will lead the government, Singh too said the prime minister, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Nadda have made it "amply clear" on several occasions as to who will lead the government. -- PTI
16:10   Sensex surges to another lifetime high on vaccine hopes
Extending its winning streak for the seventh straight session, equity benchmark Sensex soared 680 points to scale another lifetime high on Tuesday, tracking a global market rally driven by Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine trials data. 

After touching its lifetime peak of 43,316.44 during the day, the 30-share BSE index ended 680.22 points or 1.60 per cent higher at 43,277.65. The broader NSE Nifty too touched a fresh intra-day high of 12,643.90. It ended at 12,631.10, up 170.05 points or 1.36 per cent. 

Bajaj Finance was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, surging around 9 per cent, followed by IndusInd Bank, L&T, Bajaj Finserv, HDFC, SBI, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, ONGC and Axis Bank. 

"Announcements by BioNTech and Pfizer about successful phase 3 trial of COVID-19 vaccine instilled confidence among investors and possibility of sustained economic recovery led sharp buying in beaten down stocks," said Arjun Yash Mahajan, Head Institutional Business at Reliance Securities. Favourable global markets and NDA's surprising lead in Bihar assembly elections also supported the rally, he added. -- PTI
15:59   BJP's Yogeshwar Dutt concedes loss
When you are debutant in politics, you blame yourself, not the EVMs.

Wrestler  Yogeshwar Dutt, the BJP candidate from Baroda in Haryana, says, "I must be lacking something due to which I could not meet people's expectations. I can't say the reason, this is people's mandate. I had worked hard, I will work hard. I have congratulated the winning candidate."

Congress candidate Indu Raj Narwal on Tuesday defeated his nearest rival and BJP nominee Yogeshwar Dutt in the Baroda assembly seat of Haryana with a margin of over 10,000 votes, said officials. The opposition Congress has retained the Baroda seat. 
15:52   Cong blames EVMs for MP rout
When results go against expectations, its the EVMs that are blamed, every single time, every time.

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on the Madhya Pradesh bypolls: "EVMs are not tamper-proof, and selective tampering is done. There are seats that we would have not lost in any circumstance but we did by thousands of votes. We'll hold a meeting tomorrow and analyse the results." 
15:50   Priya Ramani's statements damaged my reputation: MJ Akbar
As we wait for results and fresh leads in the Bihar elections, this is what happened in New Delhi today.

Former union minister MJ Akbar on Tuesday submitted before a Delhi court that the statements made against him by journalist Priya Ramani were defamatory, were widely disseminated, and lowered his reputation.

Senior advocate Geeta Luthra, appearing for Akbar, told the court that the former minister by his continuous hard work had become the editor in a short period of time and no one has ever cast any aspersion on his character ever.

Akbar's lawyer also cited testimonies of witnesses to prove that Akbar had an impeccable reputation and said that Ramani's statements were defamatory and it has lowered Akbar's reputation and were widely disseminated. She also said that allegations against her clients are unfounded and made without any care and caution.

Stressing that Akbar's years-long reputation can't be tarnished in such a manner, the lawyer said that there was nothing on record including CCTV footage, landline details, parking receipts to justify the allegations leveled against her client.As the hearing remained inconclusive, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vishal Pahuja, who was hearing the final arguments in the defamation case, listed the matter for continuing rebuttal arguments on Wednesday.

MJ Akbar, a former Minister of State for External Affairs, had filed a defamation case against the journalist Priya Ramani for accusing him of sexual misconduct. -- PTI
BJP workers in Varanasi celebrate the NDA's lead in the Bihar polls
BJP workers in Varanasi celebrate the NDA's lead in the Bihar polls
15:39   BJP wins Darbhanga seat
BJP leader Sanjay Saraogi has won the Darbhanga seat defeating RJD's Amar Nath Gami by over 10,000 votes, Returning Officer Thiyagrajan SM said Tuesday. Saraogi(50) had won the seat in the 2015 assembly election too with a margin of 7,460 votes. The election was held in the seat in the last phase of Bihar assembly polls on November 7. Counting of votes is underway for the 243-seat assembly and as per trends the NDA has an edge over the RJD- led Mahagathbandhan. -- PTI
15:34   Jyotiraditya scores, Cong decimated in MP
The ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh is leading in 20 of the 28 Assembly constituencies for which byelections were held while the Congress is ahead in seven seats, as per the trends of counting on Tuesday. 

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is leading in Morena constituency. However, two ministers in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government, Aidal Singh Kansana (Sumaoli) and Girraj Dandotia (Dimani), were reportedly trailing their Congress rivals. 

Minister OPS Bhadoria (Mehgaon) was leading by around 7,300 votes, though. The 28 seats in Madhya Pradesh fell vacant following Jyotiraditya Scindia's crossover in March, which triggered the fall of the Kamal Nath government and the return of the BJP. He will be expected to ensure the MLAs who resigned to support him are re-elected. Reacting to the leads, former Chief Minister and Congress leader, Kamal Nath, said, "Let the results come in fully. We will respect the mandate and thank the voters." 
15:12   Congress is sinking ship, lost connect with people: Guj CM
The trends on the counting day for Gujarat by-polls and other states, along with Assembly elections in Bihar, revealed Congress is a sinking ship and it has lost connection with the people, said Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday.

Talking to ANI, Rupani also termed BJP's clean-sweep in the eight Assembly seat by-polls in Gujarat an unprecedented victory for the party in the state.

"Congress is a sinking ship, they have lost connect with people. Results are against them everywhere. It's a party sans leadership. The results (Gujarat by-polls) are trailer of upcoming local polls here," Rupani said.

"The people of Gujarat have made BJP win with a huge majority, in the history of Dangs, which is a tribal seat, we are winning by over 30,000 votes. This has never happened before," he added.

The Gujarat CM further said all the eight seats, in which voting was held were spread across various regions, dominated by various communities in the state, which meant that all communities had supported the BJP.

He further said the encouraging results, which BJP got in these elections in Gujarat will have an impact in the upcoming Panchayat, corporation and the 2022 Assembly elections for the Legislative Assembly in the state."It is a sign for things to come, it shows the direction in which Gujarat is going. It is just the trailer," he added. -- ANI
Bihar saw a 57% voting in its 3-phase polls
Bihar saw a 57% voting in its 3-phase polls
14:57   BJP sweeps bypolls, widens lead in Bihar
It was advantage BJP on Tuesday with the party leading in more than 40 seats as votes were counted for assembly by-elections in 59 constituencies across 11 states, including Madhya Pradesh where it was ahead in 21 seats, according to the Election Commission website. The country's ruling party was also ahead in all the eight seats in Gujarat for which by-elections were held and six in Uttar Pradesh, where seven assembly constituencies went to the polls in the first pan-India electoral exercise since the pandemic.

Votes were also counted for by-elections in Manipur (five seats), Haryana (one), Chhattisgarh (one), Jharkhand (two), Karnataka (two), Nagaland (two), Odisha (two) and Telangana (one).

MADHYA PRADESH It's a high-stakes electoral battle, particularly in Madhya Pradesh where the BJP-led Shivraj Singh Chouhan government is locked in a fierce contest with the Congress to save its government. The BJP was ahead in 21 seats, the Congress in six and the BSP in one, according to Election Commission trends. Elections were held for 28 seats, the first time that so many by-elections were held together. The BJP which has 107 MLAs in the assembly, with an effective strength of 229, needs at least eight more MLAs for a simple majority. It is a crucial test for Jyotiraditya Scindia, who quit the Congress with his loyalist MLAs to join the BJP, toppling the Congress-led Kamal Nath government. Elsewhere, the leads for the BJP varied from a little over 300 (Dabra) to more than 17,000 (Badnawar).

GUJARAT The BJP held sway over the party-ruled state with leads in all eight seats and the Congress trailing. A total of 60.75 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the bypolls held in Abdasa (Kutch), Limbdi (Surendranagar), Morbi (Morbi district), Dhari (Amreli), Gadhada (Botad), Karjan (Vadodara), Dang (Dang district) and Kaprada (Valsad). 

UTTAR PRADESH Of the seven seats, the ruling BJP was ahead in six and the Samajwadi Party in one. Eighty-eight candidates contested in the Naugaon Sadat, Tundla, Bangarmau, Bulandshahr, Deoria, Ghatampur and Malhani seats. Barring Malhani, which was with the SP, the other seats were in the ruling BJP's kitty. SP chief Akhilesh Yadav alleged on Monday that the BJP was involved in "rigging. 

MANIPUR According to Election Commission trends, the BJP had won two seats and was leading in two with an Independent ahead in one. The by-elections were necessitated by Congress MLAs in four seats resigning from the Assembly and quitting the party to join the BJP. 

KARNATAKA The BJP had the edge in both the seats for which elections were held. Though the results will have no bearing on the stability of the B S Yediyurappa government, it would be seen in many quarters as a reflection on its performance, especially during the pandemic. Of the two seats that went to the polls, one was with the JD(S) and the other with the Congress. The elections were necessitated by the death of Sira JD(S) MLA B Satyanarayana in August and the resignation of RR Nagar Congress MLA Munirathna from the assembly last year. 

JHARKHAND The BJP was ahead in one seat and the Congress in the other. BJP's Lois Marandi was leading in Dumka over Basant Soren, Chief Minister Hemant Soren's brother. In Bermo, Congress nominee Anup Singh was ahead of BJP's Yogeshwar Mahato. 

ODISHA The state's ruling Biju Janata Dal was ahead in both the Balasore and Tirtol seats for which by-elections were held. While state BJP general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan had claimed his party will win both as voters were "fed up with the ruling party, BJD leader DP Mishra said people voted as they are keen to see speedy development in their areas.

CHHATTISGARH The state's ruling Congress was ahead in the by-election to the Marwahi seat that was necessitated due to the death of Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) MLA and former chief minister Ajit Jogi.

NAGALAND Independent candidates were leading in the two assembly seats - Southern Angami-I in Kohima and Pungro-Kiphire in Kiphire district. The elections were necessitated following the deaths of the sitting legislators Vikho-o Yhoshu and T Torechu.

TELANGANA The BJP was leading in the Dubbak Assembly constituency, which witnessed a three-cornered contest between the ruling TRS and opposition BJP and Congress. The bypolls were called due to the death of sitting TRS MLA Solipeta Ramalinga Reddy in August this year. His widow Solipeta Sujatha was the ruling party's choice.

HARYANA Congress' Indu Raj Narwal was ahead in the Baroda seat that had fallen vacant following the death of Krishan Hooda, who had won it in 2009, 2014 and 2019 assembly polls. Narwal was leading over his nearest rival and BJP nominee, Olympian wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt. PTI
14:50   BJP celebrates certain win in MP
BJP workers and supporters celebrate outside party office in Indore as latest trends show BJP leading in state assembly by-polls counting.

It's a high-stakes electoral battle, particularly in Madhya Pradesh where the BJP-led Shivraj Singh Chouhan government is locked in a fierce contest with the Congress to save its government. The BJP was ahead in 21 seats, the Congress in six and the BSP in one, according to Election Commission trends. Elections were held for 28 seats, the first time that so many by-elections were held together. The BJP which has 107 MLAs in the assembly, with an effective strength of 229, needs at least eight more MLAs for a simple majority. 

It is a crucial test for Jyotiraditya Scindia, who quit the Congress with his loyalist MLAs to join the BJP, toppling the Congress-led Kamal Nath government. Elsewhere, the leads for the BJP varied from a little over 300 (Dabra) to more than 17,000 (Badnawar).
14:34   Dholak and gulal in Patna ushers in NDA 'win'
Members of BJP Mahila Morcha play the dholak and celebrate with 'gulal' as latest trends show NDA leading over the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar the elections. Covid has slowed down the counting process in Bihar because the number of rounds of counting have gone up to 35 from the earlier 25 and a 46 per cent increase in the number of polling stations to ensure distancing.

Covid seems to have ended for these celebratory women with no distancing or masks.

NDA: 128, MGB: 104
NDA supporters begin celebrations in Patna
NDA supporters begin celebrations in Patna
14:27   RJD celebrations on mute
In the RJD camp, which was on cloud nine till Monday with almost all exit polls indicating the party-helmed coalition coming to power in the state and its leader Tejashwi Yadav becoming chief minister, the initial euphoria appears to be dipping.

A crowd of Tejashwi supporters that had gathered outside the 10 Circular Road residence of former chief minister Rabri Devi expecting a victory is thinning now. But some ardent supporters, carrying photographs of Tejashwi in Delhi Daredevils jersey from his IPL days and also him taking oath as CM, stay put in the hope that things will change for better with the progress of counting. 

Bihar RJD spokesman Mrityunjay Tiwari said, "It's like a T-20 match. The result will be decided only when the last ball of the match is bowled."

In the Congress camp, initial excitement appears to have evaporated with the trends showing Grand Alliance trailing the NDA. Scores of Congress leaders from across the country, including its general secretary Randeep Surjewala, who have arrived here in the hope of party forming a government with Mahagathbandhan partners are glued to TV channels hoping the trends will change in accordance to the exit polls. "We are not far behind, things will change in our favour," state Congress spokesman Rajesh Rathor told PTI.

NDA: 127   MGB: 105
14:10   Bihar polls: Tentative celebrations begin at BJP offices
With the Bihar poll trends showing the ruling NDA marching ahead of the RJD-led Grand Alliance, the mood was buoyant among BJP and JD(U) workers, but RJD and Congress activists looked disappointed, even though hoping for things to change in their favour. 

At the BJP office at Beer Chand Patel Path, where there was not much activity for the past three days after exit polls projected a majority for the Grand Alliance, several leaders and party workers have started coming in with beaming faces.

State BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal is in the office monitoring the results closely. Bihar BJP spokesman Sanjay Singh Tiger said the BJP-JD(U) coalition has worked under the "double engine" governments -- NDA dispensations at the Centre as well in the state and the people of Bihar have blessed it.

"The people know Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Nitish kumar can speed up development of the state and hence they have reposed their faith in the NDA," Tiger told reporters. 

While Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is watching counting of votes at his official residence, some leaders and party workers have started thronging the party office, a stone's throw away from the office of the BJP and the RJD in the heart of the city. Bihar JD(U) president Vasistha Narayan Singh said they were confident since the beginning that the people of the state would like the ruling coalition to continue and expedite the development process.

Asked about the BJP performing better than the JD(U) and if Chief Minister Kumar will continue in the post, Singh said, "When top BJP leaders themselves have said that Kumar will be the CM irrespective of the individual scores of the alliance partners, is there any need to clarify this further?" JD(U) spokesman Ajay Alok said the people of Bihar have faith in Nitish Kumar and that is reflected in the trends in favour of the NDA.
14:04   We will be proven right: RJD
While the BJP is treading cautiously on the Bihar poll results despite a 32-seat lead, the RJD seems confident of a win.

BJP leaders could be seen sharing jokes on whether sweets should be offered to those present at its headquarters or not.

The RJD's MP Manoj Jha said, "In a few hours will see you in a few hours and will prove that we did what we had said." The RJD had said they would end Nitish's three-term run in Bihar.
13:59   Over 1 crore votes counted so far in Bihar: EC
Update: EC on Bihar election counting/results: Some Assembly Constituencies there are fewer polling stations, counting will conclude in 24-25 rounds. But we also have some ACs, where there will be 50-51 rounds. On average, we'll have 30-35 rounds of counting per AC: Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar, HR Srinivas.

"Needless to say that there has been an absolutely glitch-free counting process so far. Slightly more than 1 crore votes have been counted in Bihar which means that there is significant ground to be covered yet. Counting will take place till late tonight.

"As per law, all postal ballots received till 8 am today are to be taken up for counting. It means postal ballots received at counting centres till at 8 am today need to be taken up for counting. Data related to it will be available at the level of concerned returning officer.

"It has been clarified time and again that EVMs are robust and tamper-proof. Supreme Court upheld integrity of EVMs more than once. EC had also offered EVM challenge in 2017. Integrity of EVMs is without any doubt and merits no further clarification.

"Counting will take extra time due to 63 per cent more EVMs than 2015 Bihar polls as COVID-19 protocol needed additional polling booths."
13:49   Bihar polls: Only 20% of votes counted so far
The Bihar CEO adds that only 20% counting complete so far. The counting is taking time because over 34,000 more polling booths this election. The Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar, HR Srinivas also told the media that around 4.10 crore votes were cast, 92 lakh votes counted so far. Earlier there used to 25-26 rounds of counting, this time it went up to around 35 rounds. So the counting well continue till late evening.

NDA: 125, MGB: 108, LJP: 1, OTH: 9
13:42   BJP cautious despite promising trends in Bihar
With a hawk-eye on evolving tally and a bit skeptical about National Democratic Alliance performance in Bihar, Bharatiya Janata Party is treading cautiously before it starts celebrating a victory which can or cannot be for it to celebrate.

With no ladoos in sight, BJP leaders could be seen sharing jokes on whether sweets should be offered to those present at its headquarters or not. Constant inquiries about ladoos elicited mixed responses from the BJP leaders.

In previous assembly polls, the party had to face embarrassment as visuals of laddoos covered all television screens as the early trends saw BJP leading but eventually losing states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

This time, BJP did no such optics. "We have got ladoos but sweets will come out only after results are clearly announced," quips one of the leaders.

Even a sweet biscuit with an early morning cup of tea was taken with a pinch of sarcasm.

"No sweet, this biscuit is salty and sweet, just like the situation we are in," said a BJP leader while offering biscuits to another party spokesperson.

Even while the trends show the NDA nearing the majority mark, leaders remained tight-lipped. 

However, smiles could be seen all around and spokespersons became confident as the result starts looking promising for the BJP.
13:22   BJP leads in three state bypolls
Gujarat: CM Vijay Rupani, in Gandhinagar, says, "BJP is near to winning all eight seats. This is the trailer for the upcoming elections."

Manipur: BJP wins two of the five seats which went to by-polls in the state, as per Election Commission.

Karnataka: The party is leading on two seats, Independent leading on one seat.
13:16   Bihar counting will go on till late evening: EC
Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar, HR Srinivas addressing the media as announced earlier: Around 4.10 crore votes were cast, 92 lakh votes counted so far. Earlier there used to 25-26 rounds of counting, this time it went up to around 35 rounds. So the counting well continue till late evening.
13:13   Arnab moves SC over denial of bail
Meanwhile, in Mumbai, Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami moves Supreme Court challenging Bombay High Court's order which refused to grant him interim bail in the 2018 abetment to suicide case. 

The Bombay high court on Monday declined to grant interim bail to Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and two others, arrested in a case of abetment of suicide of an interior designer, prolonging their stay in jail in a matter that has generated wide public attention. 
12:50   BJP leads in Telangana
The BJP maintained its lead over ruling TRS after completion of seven rounds of counting of votes for Dubbak assembly bypoll in Telangana on Tuesday. BJP candidate M Raghunandan Rao was leading over his nearest TRS rival Solipeta Sujatha by 2,485 votes after seven rounds. The counting of votes began at 8 AM and it is expected to be completed in 23 rounds. The bypoll, held on November 3, has been necessitated due to the death of sitting TRS MLA Solipeta Ramalinga Reddy in August this year due to health issues.
12:44   BJP wins 1 seat, leads in 3 out 5 seats in Manipur bypolls
In the Manipur bypolls too, the BJP is in the lead. The BJP has won one of the five seats which went to by-polls in the state. The party is also leading on three seats, Independent leading on one seat as counting continues.
12:42   BJP celebrates leads heading to win in K'taka bypolls
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, state ministers B Sriramulu, R Ashoka, Basavaraj Bommai, and other leaders of BJP celebrate at the CM's residence in Bengaluru as trends show the party leading on both the seats. 

Votes polled in the November 3 bypolls to Sira in Tumakuru district and Rajarajeshwari Nagar (R R Nagar) in the city were taken up for counting at 8 am and the results are expected to be out by afternoon.
Lois Marandi from the BJP
Lois Marandi from the BJP
12:38   Jharkhand bypoll: BJP leads in Dumka, Congress in Bermo
More good news for the BJP. Its candidate Lois Marandi was leading in the bypoll to Dumka Assembly seat while Congress nominee Anup Singh was ahead in Bermo constituency in Jharkhand, as per trends at 12 noon.

Marandi was leading over his nearest rival Basant Soren of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) by over 4,749 votes in Dumka seat, as per the ECI website. 

In Bermo Assembly constituency, Congress nominee Anup Singh was ahead of his nearest rival BJP candidate Yogeshwar Mahto 'Batul' by 7,212 votes By-election to the Dumka seat was necessitated as Chief Minister Heman Soren vacated the seat and retained the Barhait constituency. Basant Soren is the younger brother of the chief minister.
12:32   BJP emerges single-largest party in leads in Bihar
BJP emerges as the single-largest party in the Bihar polls. With the NDA leading in 128 seats,  27 seats ahead of the JDU lead Mahagathbandhan, the BJP leads in 73, RJD in 64, JD-U 48 and Congress 19 seats.

Image:  JDU supporters and workers celebrate at party office in Patna as trends show NDA leading.
12:23   MP bypolls: BJP ahead in 17 seats but three ministers trailing
Three ministers in the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in Madhya Pradesh are trailing behind their Congress rivals even as the ruling BJP has taken a lead in 17 of the 28 Assembly constituencies, as per the trends of counting on Tuesday. The opposition Congress is ahead in nine seats out of the 27 constituencies for which trends are available. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is leading in Morena seat, as per the Election Commission data.
12:15   EC to hold presser at 1:30 pm
Election Commission press conference to take place at 1.30 pm. Deputy Election Commissioners Sudeep Jain, Chandrabhushan Kumar, and Ashish Kundra to brief the media. 
12:14   BJP workers (without masks) gather
Supporters and workers of BJP celebrate, gather at party office in Patna as trends show NDA leading over RJD-led Mahagathbandhan.
Crowds at a RJD-Cong rally last week
Crowds at a RJD-Cong rally last week
12:09   Behind the scenes: What the EC mapped out for counting day
The Election Commission of India has increased the number of counting centres to 55 in order to comply with Covid-19 social distancing guidelines. The number of counting centres in the state was 38 during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

"Earlier we used to have 38 counting centre for 38 districts but this time we have 55 counting centres and the simple reason is that we want to maintain social distance," Bihar Chief Election Commissioner HR Srinivasa told ANI.

In Patna, votes for all the 14 assembly constituencies will be counted at just 1 centre set up at AN College. The poll panel said has readied 30 counting halls at the college. Srinivasa further said that ECI has established a 3-tier security system for strong rooms (housing the EVMs) and the counting centres.

"Election Commission gave 19 companies of paramilitary forces to guard strongrooms. They are the innermost core of counting centres' security. There are 59 companies of paramilitary forces to maintain general law and order in the state. The inner core is being guarded by the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), then there is the Bihar Military Police (BMP) and then the district police," he added.
12:03   NDA will win with comfortable majority: BJP
Kailash Vijayvargiya, National General Secretary, BJP, told NDTV that PM Modi's image sailed us through (this election)." He said the NDA will win by a comfortable majority and by evening, the NDA would decide on the issues of government formation and leadership. 

Leads: NDA 129, MGB 101, LJP 4, OTH 9
11:57   Cong manned counting centres through the night
Apprehending that rivals might indulge in "foul play" following encouraging exit polls predictions in favour of the Grand Alliance, Congress had asked its senior leaders to be in their place in all the 38 districts and keep a close watch over the EVMs kept in the strongrooms. Buoyed by the exit polls projections, the party sent its senior leaders including general secretary Randeep Surjewala and Avinash Pande, chairman of the BPCC screening committee, to Patna for proper coordination with the allies and possibly also to keep its flock together after the results are declared.
11:54   Bihar results will be delayed
The declaration of results in Bihar may take more time in comparison to last assembly polls as the number of polling stations have gone up by 45 percent:  HR Srinivas, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Bihar. 
11:43   This is Bihar, trailer baki hai, say RJD voters
Supporters of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tejashwi Yadav gathered outside his home this morning, say, he will be the chief minister. "This is just the trailer, the main movie is still left," a young supporter said, adding that one cannot expect Bihar results to be out so fast. It remains to be seen if the gap can be closed. 
Right now the leads are: NDA: 132, MGB: 99.
Numero Uno, Nitish seems to say at a poll rally
Numero Uno, Nitish seems to say at a poll rally
11:22   NDA leads cross half-way mark in Bihar
NDA 128, MGB104 LJP 5 OTH 60.

That's what the leads are in Bihar as of now. This means, strictly going by leads, the NDA has crossed the magic figure of 122 in the 243-member Bihar Assembly.

But early days yet. Fortunes could change for the MGB.
11:17   Lalu's sons lead
Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav leading from Raghopur seat.

Tej Pratap, who is contesting from the Hasanpur seat, is leadiing.

Congress candidate Luv Sinha - son of party leader Shatrughan Sinha- trailing behind BJP's Nitin Nabin from Bankipur seat
11:09   The seat break-up in Bihar
The NDA is leading in 128 seats -- BJP (70), JDU (51), and the VIP in 7 seats -- while the Grand Alliance is ahead in 99 seats, as per the trends available on the Election Commission website. The RJD is ahead in 63 seats, the Congress in 21, the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (Liberation) in 10, Others 5.

But it's early days yet.

Remember, most exit polls have predicted a rout for the ruling JD(U)-BJP combine and a resounding victory for the Grand Alliance (Mahagathbandhan) led by RJD's 31-year-old chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav.
11:04   NDA races past Grand Alliance in Bihar
The ruling NDA and the opposition Grand Alliance which was locked in a neck-and-neck fight is now well ahead in the early trends for 125 seats of the 243-member Bihar Assembly.

The NDA is leading in 128 seats, while the Grand Alliance is ahead in 100 seats. The LJP has 6.

11:00   BJD candidates lead over BJP in Odisha bypolls
The ruling BJD candidates have established early leads over their nearest BJP rivals in both Balasore and Tirtol assembly constituencies, where counting of votes polled in the by-elections held last week is in progress on Tuesday.

As per early trends, BJD's Bijay Shankar Das was leading over BJP candidate Rajkishore Behera by 1,078 votes in Tirtol seat in Jagatsinghpur district, election officials said. Das has polled 3,852 votes so far, while Behera has bagged 2,774 votes. 

Congress nominee Himanshu Bhushan Mallick has got 442 votes. In Balasore, BJD candidate Swarup Kumar Das was leading over his nearest BJP nominee Manas Kumar Dutta by 615 votes. Das has bagged 3,459 votes while Dutta closely followed with 2,844 votes. 

Congress candidate Mamata Kundu was trailing in third place with 523 votes.

The deaths of Balasore's BJP MLA Madan Mohan Dutta and Tirtol's BJD legislator Bishnu Charan Das necessitated the by-elections which were held on November 3. PTI
10:59   Tej Pratap leads
Fortunes have changed for Lalu's son Tej Pratap, who is contesting from the Hasanpur seat.

The MGB, which had a lead over the NDA is now a poor second with 102 seats against 127.  
10:54   Bihar polls: Jitan Ram Manjhi trails, NDA ahead
HAM president and former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi trailing behind Uday Narain Choudhary of RJD by 1,340 votes in Imamganj seat. Manjhi joined the National Democratic Alliance in Bihar in September.

Manjhi had underscored that his return to the NDA was "bina kisi shart ke" (without any preconditions) and added "I am not going to answer any questions as to how many seats our party is going to demand in assembly polls".

Dalits in Bihar are over 16 per cent of the electorate and about 40 seats in the 243-member house are reserved for them, and in such a scenario Manjhi's comeback would be an advantage for the ruling alliance.

NDA: 125, MGB: 102, LJP 7, OTH: 9
10:46   BJP leads in K'taka, Jharkhand, MP bypolls
The ruling BJP is leading ahead of opposition Congress and JD(S) in the bypolls held for two assembly constituencies in the state, poll officials said on Tuesday. Votes polled in the November 3 bypolls to Sira in Tumakuru district and Rajarajeshwari Nagar (R R Nagar) in the city were taken up for counting at 8 am and the results are expected to be out by afternoon.

According to the Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer's office, the trends show- BJP's Dr C M Rajesh Gowda is leading with 8,919 votes in Sira, followed by Congress' T B Jayachandra with 7,577. JD(S)' Ammajamma B is in third place with 4842 votes.
10:39   BJP leads in MP bypolls
Madhya Pradesh by-polls: BJP leading on 13 seats, Congress on 7 and BSP on one. 28 seats voted in by-polls held in the state which has a 230-member Assembly.
KC Tyagi, JD-U spokesperson
KC Tyagi, JD-U spokesperson
10:32   JD-U losing because of Covid impact: Spokesperson
Janata Dal (United) leader KC Tyagi: A year ago, RJD couldn't win a single seat in Lok Sabha polls. As per Lok Sabha results, JDU and allies were to win over 200 seats. In last one year, nothing has harmed brand Nitish or added to brand RJD, we're losing only due to Covid impact. 

MGB 116,  NDA 107, LJP 9, OTH 11
10:32   Manipur: BJP leads in 1 out of 5 seats
Manipur bypolls: BJP wins one of the five seats which went to by-polls in the state. The party is also leading on one seat as counting continues. 
10:25   Lalu's son Tej Pratap trails in Hasanpur
RJD's Tej Pratap Yadav trailing behind JDU's Raj Kumar Ray from Hasanpur seat. Tej Pratap Yadav had relinquished the Mahua constituency in Vaishali district for Hasanpur. Tej Pratap, is Lalu Prasad Yadav's eldest son. His younger son Tejashwi is leading in the Raghopur sea, in Sonepur district, which was his mother Rabri Devi's constituency.
Tejashwi Yadav's RJD is in the lead
Tejashwi Yadav's RJD is in the lead
10:14   Nitish's JD-U in 3rd spot in Bihar
Bihar polls:  NDA is leading on 110 seats - BJP 62, JDU 41 and Vikassheel Insaan Party on 4 seats, HAM 3. Mahagathbandhan is ahead on 116 seats - RJD 72, Congress 31, Left 13; LJP 10, Bahujan Samaj Party has a lead on one seat.

Counting of votes polled in Bihar Assembly elections began at 8 am on Tuesday at 55 counting centres across 38 districts of the state.

On one side is the NDA which includes JD-U (115 seats), BJP (110 seats), Vikassheel Insaan Party (11 seats) and Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha (7 seats).

Mahagathbandhan constitutes RJD (144 seats) and the Congress with 70 seats. Other alliance partners include the CPI-ML (19 seats), CPI (6 seats), and the CPIM (4 seats).

Incumbent Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was the face of the NDA while Mahagathbandhan declared Tejashwi Yadav as its chief minister candidate
The BJP's Shreyasi Singh
The BJP's Shreyasi Singh
09:51   Leads so far
Bihar polls: Of the state's 243 assembly constituencies, among the most keenly watched will obviously be Raghopur in Vaishali district from where Tejashwi Yadav is seeking re-election. Raghopur has been in the past represented by his parents Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi, both former chief ministers. As of now, Tejashwi Yadav is leading in the seat.

Nitish Kumar is a member of the state's legislative council and has not contested the assembly election. 

Tejashwi's elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav is contesting from Hasanpur in Samastipur district. Tej Pratap is leading. 

The political fate of nearly a dozen of ministers will be decided today. Prominent among them are Nand Kishore Yadav (Patna Sahib), Pramod Kumar (Motihari), Rana Randhir (Madhuban), Suresh Sharma (Muzaffarpur), Shrawan Kumar (Nalanda), Jai Kumar Singh (Dinara) and Krishnanandan Prasad Verma (Jehanabad).

Other prominent faces in the polls are: 

Jitan Ram Manjhi (HAM) leading
Subhashini Yadav (Cong, Sharad Yadav's daughter) leading
Luv Sinha (Cong, Shatrughan Sinha's son) leading
Shreyasi Singh (BJP) leading (Read more about her here)
09:41   BJP leads in MP bypolls
Bharatiya Janata Party takes lead on five out of the 28 Madhya Pradesh Assembly seats, as per Election Commission trends. The result will be viewed by many as a comment on the BJP's Jyotiraditya Scindia and the clout he may (or may not) wield since he quit the Congress in March.   

Gujarat bypolls: BJP takes lead on four out of the eight Gujarat Assembly seats.

BJP leading in RR Nagar and Sira Assembly seats of Karnataka Assembly bypolls.
09:28   Gap narrows between NDA, MGB in Bihar
The gap is closing between the NDA and the MGB. The Nitish Kumar government who is with the BJP is at 100, the MGB is a 102. Anybody's guess what the results will be.  Most exit polls have predicted a rout for the ruling JD(U)-BJP combine and a resounding victory for the Grand Alliance ) led by RJD's 31-year-old chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav. But exit polls can be wrong.
09:26   NDA, RJD alliance neck-and-neck in early leads
NDA (37), MGB (38) neck and neck in early leads. EC officials said the trends and results might be delayed a bit this time as the number of polling stations were raised from 72,723 earlier to 1,06,515, an increase of 46.5 per cent, to ensure adherence to social distancing measures in view of the pandemic.
09:07   MGB leads with promise of 10L jobs
Vikas will be the deciding factor for the Bihar polls. Thousands of migrants who returned home in the midst of the Covid19 pandemic have remained jobless. The RJD has promised 10 lakh jobs, which may actually be the decider for the voters. The youth want Nitish Kumar out and Tejashwi presents a viable option for the young. 

MGB: 99, NDA: 80, LJP: 5
08:59   Tejashwi next CM?
Patna: Supporters of RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav outside his residence as counting of votes for the Bihar elections.
08:54   Counting of votes begins for 58 assembly constituencies across 11 states
Counting of votes for by-polls held in 58 assembly constituencies across 11 states in the country began at 8 am on Tuesday. This will be carried out along with the vote-counting process in Bihar where the first major electoral exercise was held amid the pandemic.

The result of 28 assembly constituencies in Madhya Pradesh will decide the fate of Shivraj Singh Chouhan led-BJP government which requires at least eight more MLAs for a clear majority in the state assembly.

Visuals from counting centres in Indore and Morena were out on Tuesday morning.

By-polls were held in Joura, Sumaoli, Morena, Dimani, Ambah, Mehgaon, Gohad, Gwalior, Gwalior East, Dabra, Bhander, Karera, Pohari, Bamori, Ashok Nagar, Mungaoli, Surkhi, Malhara, Anuppur, Sanchi, Biaora, Agar, Hatpipliya, Mandhata, Nepanagar, Badnawar, Sanwer and Suwasra of Madhya Pradesh.Gujarat's Dang counting centre also started the counting of votes for eight assembly constituencies in the state.The assembly seats of Abdasa, Limdi, Morbi, Dhari, Gadhada, Karjan, Dang and Kaprada in Gujarat are up for contest in the current by-polls in Gujarat.Apart from this, by-polls on 7 seats in Uttar Pradesh, 2 seats each in Odisha, Nagaland, Karnataka and Jharkhand, and one seat each in Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Haryana were held. The results of the bye-election will be announced today. 
08:50   RJD alliance skates ahead of NDA
This is what Bihar looks like in early leads.

NDA: 49, MGB: 59, LJP: 2, Others: 3

A total of 3,733 candidates are in the fray, including 371 women and a transgender. Most exit polls have predicted a rout for the ruling JD(U)-BJP combine and a resounding victory for the Grand Alliance (Mahagathbandhan) led by RJD's 31-year-old chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav. 
08:42   Counting for Karnataka polls begins
The votes polled in the by-poll to Sira Assembly constituency being counted today; visuals from counting in centre Tumkuru.
08:37   Counting of votes for Jharkhand bypolls begins
Counting of votes polled in the November 3 by-elections to Dumka and Bermo assembly seats in Jharkhand began at 8 am on Tuesday amidst tight security, election officials said. Security personnel, including central forces, have been deployed at the counting centres and CCTVs have been installed, state joint chief electoral officer Hiralal mandal said.
08:29   Counting of votes for Manipur assembly bypolls begins
Counting of votes began on Tuesday in four assembly constituencies of Manipur, where by- elections were held last week, officials said. Covid-19 safety protocols are being followed in the counting centres where the administration has put in place tight security arrangements.

Counting started at 8 am at Lilong, Wangjing-Tentha, Saitu and Wangoi constituencies. The by-polls held on November 7 were necessitated after Congress MLAs of these four seats resigned from the assembly and joined the ruling BJP.

The ruling BJP has contested in three seats and supported an independent candidate in Lilong, while the Congress has fielded its nominees in all the four constituencies.

In Wangoi seat, the National People's Party (NPP), a partner of the BJP-led ruling coalition in the state, has fielded its candidate against the Congress and the saffron party. The Congress, which had won a total of 28 seats to emerge as the single largest party in the 60-member Manipur assembly after the 2017 polls, has seen members deserting the party from time to time. The state now has a BJP-led government. -- PTI
08:27   Win or lose, Tejashwi makes a mark in Bihar
The anointed heir to Lalu Prasad has debunked punditry and prediction and given the lie to his own default lassitude to make a phenomenon of his campaign charge in the state. Read the column here
08:23   Will these EVMs show Tejashwi winner?
That's what it looks like inside a counting centre established at Anugrah Narayan College in Patna.  Most exit polls have predicted a rout for the ruling JD(U)-BJP combine and a resounding victory for the Grand Alliance (Mahagathbandhan) led by RJD's 31-year-old chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav.
A strong-room with EVMs being opened in Indore
A strong-room with EVMs being opened in Indore
08:19   Counting of seats for Bihar, 58 by-polls, begins
Counting of votes begins for the 243-member Bihar Assembly and by-polls to 58 Assembly seats across 11 states.

An elderly voter being carried to a poll station to cast her vote in Bihar
An elderly voter being carried to a poll station to cast her vote in Bihar
08:17   Bihar results may be delayed
Update: Counting of votes got under way Tuesday morning for the three-phase Bihar assembly elections that may herald a new era in state politics, with exit polls predicting a victory for the RJD-led Grand Alliance. The exercise will decide the electoral fate of over 3,700 candidates who are in the race to win the 243 seats of the state assembly. 

Counting started at 8 am at 55 centres spread across 38 districts amid tight security and precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19 pandemic during the process. 

Over 57 per cent of about 7.30 crore electors have exercised their franchise in what is the first major election in the country since the onset of the pandemic. Votes are also being simultaneously counted for the Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha by-poll, which was necessitated by the death of JD(U) MP Baidyanath Mahto. 

Officials said the trends and results might be delayed a bit this time as the number of polling stations were raised from 72,723 earlier to 1,06,515, an increase of 46.5 per cent, to ensure adherence to social distancing measures in view of the pandemic. 

A total of 3,733 candidates are in the fray, including 371 women and a transgender. Most exit polls have predicted a rout for the ruling JD(U)-BJP combine and a resounding victory for the Grand Alliance (Mahagathbandhan) led by RJD's 31-year-old chief ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav. -- PTI
08:01   This is what Nitish Kumar gave Bihar
Nitish Kumar might win the election, he might lose. But there is no one in Bihar who will deny his contribution to governance, writes Aditi Phadnis. Read the column here
07:57   Bihar polls result today: Nitish or Tejashwi?
The verdict of the Bihar elections will be out today. The voters will decide whether Nitish Kumar, the incumbent Chief Minister's Janata Dal-United, rules for the next five years or whether his former deputy, 31-year-old Tejashwi Yadav, candidate of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress and the Left alliance, rules the state. If Nitish wins, it will be his fourt term. 

Most exit polls have predicted a majority for the Mahagathbandhan of the RJD, Cong and Left.

But exit polls often get it wrong. 

The election took place amid a bitter campaign that saw the Chief Minister battling anti-incumbency, a rebellion by Lok Janshakti Party's Chirag Paswan against his leadership - seen by many as being backed by the BJP - and Prime Minister Narendra Modi replacing Mr Kumar as the de facto face of the NDA in the state.
07:39   Trump fires Defence Secretary after election defeat
United States President Donald Trump has fired his Defence Secretary Mark Esper.
"I am pleased to announce that Christopher C Miller, the highly respected Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (unanimously confirmed by the Senate), will be Acting Secretary of Defense, effective immediately," Trump said in a tweet on Monday.
"Chris will do a GREAT job! Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service," he said in his second tweet.
Trump's first firing of his Cabinet colleagues comes days after major media outlets declared that he has lost the November 3 elections to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Trump's firing comes days after Esper in an interview told The Military Times that he was not a "yes man" for the president.
"My frustration is I sit here and say, 'Hm, 18 Cabinet members. Who's pushed back more than anybody?' Name another Cabinet secretary that's pushed back," he told The Military Times.
"Have you seen me on a stage saying, 'Under the exceptional leadership of blah-blah-blah, we have blah-blah-blah-blah?'" he said.
Travel to India to attend the 2+2 ministerial meeting was Esper's last foreign travel as defence secretary. -- PTI  
Image only for representation
Image only for representation
00:49   Russia's Mi-24 shot down over Armenia
Russian helicopter Mi-24 was shot down in the Armenian airspace outside the combat zone, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Monday.

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry said that a Mi-24 helicopter crashed in Armenia near the village of Yeraskh after being fired at from the ground from a man-portable air defense system (MANPADS).

As a result of the helicopter crash, two crew members were killed, one was evacuated with moderate injuries.

"Russian helicopter Mi-24 was shot down in the airspace over the territory of the Republic of Armenia outside the combat zone," Konashenkov said. -- ANI/Sputnik