If your social media feed is made up of a fair share of political jokes, you could not have missed the comparisons between the presidential elections in the United States and the Bihar Assembly elections that people came up with in the past week. Even former Bharatiya Janata Party ally, the Shiv Sena, have drawn a parallel, claiming the Nitish Kumar-led alliance will lose like Donald Trump did.

As counting for all 243 Assembly constituencies in Bihar is set to begin from 8 am on Tuesday, the comparison might run a longer course, with most exit polls predicting this election to be a close one. The elections, held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7, witnessed a total turnout of over 57% and have several components that can lead to this scenario.

With incumbent Chief Minister Nitish Kumar seeking a fourth consecutive term, a Tejashwi Yadav-led Opposition alliance which grew confident as the campaign progressed, and the unknown factor that Lok Janshakti Party leader Chirag Paswan introduced by splitting from the National Democratic Alliance, the run-up to the first elections in the country since the outbreak of the coronavirus has made enough headlines.

Those in contention

Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) was allocated 122 constituencies, making it...

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