Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

Bihar bypolls: Over 55% turnout recorded in Araria

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| 12 March, 2018, 11:16

"Fresh polling must take place in all these booths", said Quadri.

A heavy turnout of women and first-time voters at polling booths in Araria parliamentary constituency was the highlight of bypolls to one Lok Sabha seat and two Assembly seats in Bihar held Sunday.

While Araria Lok Sabha seat saw a turnout of 57 per cent, Assembly segments of Jehanabad and Bhabua recorded 50.6 per cent and 54.3 per cent turnout, respectively. 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.

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.


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 past year.

Reports of defective EVMs came from Bhabhua Assembly constituency, where voting was affected at 24 polling stations. The key contenders for the seat are RJD's Sarafaraz Alam, Taslimuddin's son, and the BJP's Pradip Singh.

The ruling Janata Dal (United) and the BJP are facing a Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal combine in all the three battles. A total of seven candidates are in fray in Araria Lok Sabha seat but main contest is between Sarfaraz Alam of RJD and Pradeep Singh of BJP. There were 17 candidates in the fray in Bhabhua. The Bhabhua seat will see a fight between Pandey's widow Rinki Rani Pandey (BJP) and Congress candidate Shambhu Patel while in Jehanabad the late MLA's son Suday Yadav was locked in a contest with JD (U)'s Abhiram Sharma. The bypoll in Araria is being viewed as a test for the ruling JD (U)-BJP combine as well as the opposition RJD-Congress alliance, ahead of the big battle in the general elections due next year.

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