BJP, JD(U) fight prestige battle in UP, Bihar Lok Sabha bypolls today

12 March, 2018, 09:20 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Bihar Bypolls Araria Jehanabad and Bhabua: LIVE UPDATES

According to election commission sources, the polling is so far peaceful. While RJD fielded Sarfaraz Alam, BJP gave ticket to Pradeep Kumar Singh, who was local MP from 2009 to 2014, but lost to Alam's father late Mohammed Taslimuddin of RJD in 2014.

The ruling JD (U)-BJP combine and the Opposition RJD-Congress alliance were locked in a battle on the three seats.

The Bihar bypolls are seen as a litmus test for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar after he pulled out of the state's Grand Alliance and joined the BJP.

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The Araria constituency witnessed 56% on Sunday, while in Jehanabad and Bhabua it was 50% and 54% respectively. Another key candidate for the seat is Shambhu Patel from Congress.

The BJP has expressed confidence in winning the UP seats, especially the Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat which was represented by Yogi Adityanath for 5 consecutive terms before he was appointed Chief Minister. The RJD is in fray sans its chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is behind the bars in a fodder scam case, though the party was successful in getting support of former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, who holds considerable sway in Jehanabad and Araria. Also, two assembly seats Jehanabad and Bhabhua will go for byelection. "Fresh polling must take place in all these booths", said Quadri.

The death of RJD MLA Mundrika Singh Yadav necessitated the bypoll for Jehanabad seat, and his son Uday Yadav is contesting for the seat.

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BJP State president Nityanand Rai, addressing a public meeting on Friday, said that Araria would turn into "an Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) hub if Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) wins the by-poll".

The BSP is supporting the SP candidates in the two Lok Sabha seats whereas Congress, which contested the 2017 assembly poll with Samajwadi Party, had fielded its own candidates.

The BJP is counting on a sympathy wave for Anand Bhushan Pandey, whose death at 48 has necessitated the bypoll in Bhabhua, to help retain the seat. The total number of candidates in the fray here is 17. JD (U) which was earlier reluctant to contest election, fielded its candidate on request from BJP.

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