Bihar bypolls: Voting underway for Araria Lok Sabha seat, 2 assembly seats

Bihar bypolls: Voting underway for Araria Lok Sabha seat, 2 assembly seats

An FIR has been lodged against Bihar BJP chief Nityanand Rai for violating the model code of conduct by allegedly making provocative speech during campaigning for Araria Lok Sabha bypolls, an official said today.

Earlier on Wednesday, at a public meeting in Raniganj, senior State BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said that "Nitish Kumar's development works in Bihar and Narendra Modi's across the country" would continue in Araria too if the BJP candidate wins.

Araria saw a 57 per cent voter turnout, while Jehanabad and Bhabua witnessed 50.6 and 54.3 per cent polling, respectively. 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. "The decision for re-poll will be taken after analyzing the reports of election officers in the field", says Ajay Nayak.

Araria, where Muslims account for over 41 per cent of the electorate, the main contest was between the ruling BJP's Pradip Kumar Singh and RJD's Sarfaraz Alam, whose late father Mohammad Taslimuddin had won the seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls by a margin of over 1.46 lakh votes. Mayawati has not fielded any candidate for the by-elections, announcing that her party workers "will vote for the candidate who is best positioned to defeat the BJP". 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. Meanwhile, the Congress put up Shambhu Patel.

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The results will be out on March 14.

Reports are coming that By-elections to the Araria Lok Sabha seat and Bhabua and Jehanabad assembly constituencies are vacated due to the deaths of sitting lawmakers. JD (U) has fielded Abhiram Sharma as its candidate who is giving tough challenge to RJD candidate Mr Yadav.

The chief contest is between BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Grand Alliance comprising of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress and Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) [HAM (S)] or HAM-S.

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