The counting of votes cast in the state assembly elections in India’s eastern state of Bihar began Tuesday morning.

Early leads show a close fight between the opposition parties fighting under Grand Secular Alliance and the National Democratic Alliance, which comprises the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Janata Dal United.

The elections in India’s eastern state of Bihar amid the COVID-19 pandemic are considered to be a litmus test for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The three-phase election process ended on Nov. 7.

According to the election commission, the ruling BJP was leading in 71 seats while Janata Dal United was leading in 53. The election commission showed the result of 225 out of 243 constituencies.

The parties fighting under the Grand Secular Alliance were leading in around 100 seats, the elections commission website shows.

Around 70 million people were eligible to vote.

India’s coronavirus daily new cases on Tuesday dropped to less than 40,000 after the country reported 38,073 new infections in the last 24 hours, taking the total coronavirus mark to 8.59 million. With 448 fresh deaths, the total death toll has also reached 127,059.

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