The expected candidates, including stalwarts like Lok Jan Shakti Party's (LJP) Ram Vilas Paswan and Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Rajiv Pratap Rudy, coasted along to win the biennial elections to the five Rajya Sabha seats in Bihar.

The sixth candudate, Karnataka-based businessman B.G. Uday, who entered the fray as an independent, was expected to queer the pitch while relying on support from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and some other independents.

He however, conceded defeat even before the counting started.

In the Opposition RJD-LJP combine, Mr. Paswan, who had long set his sights on the Rajya Sabha since his bitter defeat in his constituency Hajipur in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, clinched his seat with 39 votes.

Mr. Paswan, who has 12 legislators in his party, was backed by Lalu Prasad's RJD, which has 56 legislators.

The RJD's candidate, party general secretary Ram Kripal Yadav, secured 38 votes.

Mr. Paswan was also supported by the Communist Party of India (CPI), whose three legislators voted in his favour.

“Mr. Paswan's win has quashed all rumours about him going along with the Congress. Our partnership with the RJD is solid as a rock,” LJP spokesperson Shailendra Pratap Singh told The Hindu.

In the ruling JD(U)-BJP coalition, the two candidates fielded by the Janata Dal (United), bureaucrat R.C.P. Singh and Upendra Kuswaha, both garnered 48 votes each.

Mr. Rudy, who was the BJP nominee, was elected for the second consecutive time, polling 47 votes.

In all, 223 votes were cast in the 243-member Bihar Assembly, with one BSP vote being declared invalid.

Despite the ruling JD(U)-BJP combine issuing a whip on Wednesday, two legislators within the JD(U), Ram Pravesh Rai and Kedar Singh, known to be supporters of dissident JD(U) MP Prabhunath Singh, abstained from casting their vote.

The RJD-LJP combine had issued a whip earlier, while — after blowing hot and cold for quite some time — the Congress finally issued a whip on Wednesday, directing its 10 legislators to abstain from voting.

Despite this, nine legislators cross-voted, which included two from the RJD, one from the Congress, one from the BJP and all 5 from the BSP, since it did not issue any whip.

Of the BSP's 5 legislators, 3 cast their votes in favour of the RJD's Ram Kripal Yadav, while one voted for the JD(U).

“Of the surplus 14 seats belonging to the BJP, we have given 6 to the JD(U),” said BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi, emphasising solidarity with his alliance partner after the friction that emerged between them during the recently concluded two-day national executive meet.