Bihar bypolls: Voting underway for Araria Lok Sabha, 2 assembly seats
12 March, 2018, 11:18 | Author: Charlene Valdez
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". In Phulpur, Kaushalendra Singh Patel from the BJP, Nagendra Singh Patel from SP, Manish Mishra from Congress are in fray.
In the Bhabua and Jehanabad Assembly constituencies, where by-polls were also held, the voter turnout was 54.03 per cent and 50.06 per cent respectively after polling ended at 5 pm, Bihar Chief Electoral Officer Ajay V Nayak said. The bye-elections were necessitated for both the seats after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya vacated their constituencies following their election to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council.
BJP has fielded Pandey's wife Rinky Rani for the seat while the Congress has fielded Shambhu Singh Patel.
This is the first electoral battle in the state since Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who also heads the JD (U), walked out of the alliance with the RJD and the Congress and joined the BJP-led NDA a year ago. In Jehanabad Assembly seat, the RJD fielded Uday Yadav.
Janata Dal (United) is contesting the Jehanabad assembly seat, leaving Araria and Bhabua to its ally, the BJP. JD (U) which was earlier reluctant to contest election, fielded its candidate on request from BJP. However, a total of 14 candidates including three women are in the fray.
While the BJP led NDA is hoping to clinch the three seats on its development plank and upper caste- backward vote bank, the RJD-Congress combine is trying to queer the pitch for its rival by riding high on secularism and its Muslim-Yadav combination, especially in Araria and Jehanabad seats. Besides Mr. Mandal, some local BJP leaders too are said to be scuttling the chances of the party nominee Pradeep Kumar Singh. Mohan's main opponent is JD (U)'s Abhiram Sharma who had won the seat in the 2010 Assembly polls.
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