Has the NDA snatched victory from the jaws of defeat? Till 12 noon, the opposition Mahagathbandhan led by Tejashwi Yadav was rejoicing. Spokespersons of Tejashwi Yadav’s RJD were on Cloud Nine and their workers were in a celebratory mood. The BJP and Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal United (JDU) leaders were very defensive and dejection coloured the faces of their supporters. But it all suddenly changed when the NDA raced ahead and surpassed the opposition alliance. Initially, RJD leaders played it brave, but by 5 pm, it was clear that the battle was lost and the party’s dreams of ruling again after 15 years were shattered. But another twist was waiting. By 8 pm, supporters of Tejashwi Yadav had another reason to be hopeful. The gap seemed to narrow even though the NDA stayed ahead. But finally, the euphoria was short-lived. Tejashwi Yadav lost. He now has to wait for another five years to dream again. RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav But Tejashwi Yadav, despite the tragic failure, is the Man of the Moment. Till a month ago he was not taken seriously. It was a walkover for the NDA. The arithmetic was simple. In Bihar, whenever two of the three big parties have got together, they have won and formed the government. Since the BJP and JDU were contesting together, the RJD was left to contest with smaller parties like Congress and Left parties. Mathematically, the Mahagathbandhan was on the wrong side of history. The opposition alliance was also handicapped by the absence of its tallest leader, Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is serving time for corruption. The onus of leading the coalition fell on his younger son Tejashwi, 31. Political pundits were not willing to give him a chance.