Published: Sun, March 11, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Bihar bypolls: 57% polling in Araria Lok Sabha constituency

Bihar bypolls: 57% polling in Araria Lok Sabha constituency

BJP has fielded Pandey's wife Rinky Rani for the seat while the Congress has fielded Shambhu Singh Patel.

The bypolls in the two constituencies were necessitated after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya vacated their seats in Gorakhpur and Phulpur, respectively, on taking their office.

Fifty-seven per cent polling was recorded in the by-election to the Araria Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar on Sunday, a senior poll official said.

While the NDA's candidate is highlighting the development works done by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the RJD candidate, who is hoping to draw the Extremely Backward Class (EBC) votes to its traditional Muslim-Yadav electoral bank, is relying on Mr. Kumar's "betrayal" of the Grand Alliance, making it his selling point of the campaign.

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Rai, an MP from Ujiyarpur Lok Sabha seat in Samastipur district, allegedly said: "If the RJD candidate, Sarfaraz Alam, wins the elections from Araria the region would become an ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) den".

In Bihar, where the ruling JD (U)-BJP combine and the opposition RJD-Congress alliance are locked in a battle, the by-elections are being held for Araria Lok Sabha seat and, Jahanabad and Bhabhua Assembly constituencies.

Alam is son of RJD MP Taslimuddin, whose death a year ago has necessitated the bypoll.

The Samajwadi Party (SP) has fielded Praveen Nishad in Gorakhpur. Shahnaz Khatoon, a first-time voter who has just taken her Class XII exam, said after casting her vote at a booth in Raniganj, "Each member of my family voted. And if (the BJP's) Pradeep Kumar Singh wins, then the spirit of patriotism would increase in Araria". The party has given ticket to Yadav's son Kumar Krishna Mohan. Another key candidate in the fray is JDU's Abhiram Sharma.

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Meanwhile, candidates in the fray for the Phulpur seat are Kaushalendra Singh Patel from the BJP, Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel from the SP and Manish Mishra from the Congress.

Araria Lok Sabha constituency comprises Assembly segments of Narpatganj, Sikti, Jokihat, Forbesganj, Raniganj and Araria.

The results for Bihar and Uttar Pradesh bye-elections will be declared on Wednesday, March 14.

On the other hand, the BJP is hopeful of retaining the Bhabhua assembly seat riding on a sympathy wave for Anand Bhushan Pandey whose death at the age of 48 necessitated the bypoll.

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