Bihar bypolls: RJD wins Araria, retains Jehanabad; BJP holds on to Bhabhua

Bihar bypolls: RJD wins Araria, retains Jehanabad; BJP holds on to Bhabhua

Bihar bypolls: RJD wins Araria, retains Jehanabad; BJP holds on to Bhabhua

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

In Bihar's bellwether bypolls, the Opposition RJD on Wednesday shocked the ruling NDA by defeating JD (U) and BJP candidates in Jehanabad Assembly constituency and Araria Lok Sabha constituency respectively while BJP retained the Bhabhua Assembly seat.

While the BJP fielded candidates in Araria and Bhabhua, the JD (U) was in fray in Jehanabad, which is almost 60 km from capital Patna. The party nominee Sarfaraz Alam, who defected from JD (U) days before the bypoll announcement, was leading against BJP's Pradeep Singh by over 40,000 votes by the time this report was published.

In Araria, a seat that fell vacant due to the death of RJD strongman Mohd Taslimuddin, the RJD has fielded his son Sarfaraz Alam, eyeing a chunk of the Muslim-Yadav voters who make up more than half the electorate. Suday Yadav is the son of former state minister Mundrika Singh Yadav, whose death necessitated the bypoll.

In Jehanabad assembly constituency, Suday Yadav of RJD defeated Janata Dal-United candidate Abhiram Sharma by 35,036 votes while BJP's Rinki Pandey worsted Sambhu Patel of the Congress, a RJD ally, by 15,000 votes in Bhabua assembly constituency.

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The results of two assembly seats contested in the recent round of bypolls in Bihar were declared on Wednesday.

Reacting angrily to the result in Bhabhua, Congress MLA Munna Tiwari charged legislature party leader Sadanand Singh with "choosing a candidate of his personal choice, sacrificing the interests of the party". My heartiest greetings to the people of Bihar.

Phulpur, a seat earlier represented by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was won for the first time by the BJP in 2014 when Keshav Prasad Maurya, a former mayor of Varanasi, won the seat with a margin of 3.76 lakh votes.

The RJD-Congress alliance is upbeat after a good voter turnout in Araria, Bhabua and Jehanabad and expressed confidence that the alliance candidates will win. "His party spent the wealth they have gathered through unfair means", said JD (U) legislator and spokesperson Neeraj Kumar. The RJD, against which we were pitted, is sitting on pots of money.

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