Jharkhand Chief minister Raghubar Das accepts his party defeat
As the ruling BJP appeared to be set for second place in the Jharkhand election, Chief Minister Raghubar Das conceded defeat. "The BJP will accept the people's mandate," he said, as it became clear that the rival Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)-Congress alliance was comfortably past the majority mark of 41.
Earlier, Raghubar Das had said he was confident the BJP would pull through and win in the end. "I am hopeful that the result will be in our favour. I am waiting for final results," he said later.
Raghubar Das was also trailing in Jamshedpur East -- a seat that he has been winning since 1995 -- against his own party rebel Saryu Rai. No Chief Minister of the state has ever won consecutive polls.
"There may have been some polarisation in a seat or two... there may also be some anti-incumbency, but we are very confident that once the final result is out, you will see that the BJP will form the government. We are very confident of that," he had asserted.
Mr Das was predicted by exit polls and analysts to face a difficult fight in Jharkhand, where his own party members were resentful of his style of functioning. He is the first non-tribal chief minister to complete a full term in the state that has seen eight since 2000, when the state was carved out of Bihar.
But he has been blamed for eroding the BJP's advantage in Jharkhand, which the party has mostly ruled in the past 19 years of the state's existence.
Mr Das is accused of sidelining important leaders like Arjun Munda, who was the BJP's tribal face. He also neglected the BJP's alliance partner, the All Jharkhand Students Union's (AJSU) of Sudesh Mahto.
His style of administration was also criticized and caused resentment within the party. He was known to lose his temper easily and was never seen to carry party workers along.