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

Bihar Lok Sabha bypolls Complaint filed against Bihar BJP chief Nithyanand Rai over ‘Araria will be ISI hub’ remark

In Bihar bypolls, 38 candidates were in the race for 3 constituencies.

On the same day, the by-election for Bihar's Lok Sabha Araria seat and two assembly seats -Jehanabad and Bhabua- are also being held.

The by-poll in Araria Lok Sabha seat was necessitated by the death of RJD MP Mohammad Taslimuddin.

The battle in Jehanabad was between the ruling JD (U)'s Abhiram Sharma and RJD's Suday Yadav, son of late Munkrika Yadav who had won the seat in the 2015 Assembly polls. After casting his vote at a polling station in his constituency, CM Yogi said that the BJP will win on both seats - Gorakhpur and Phulpur.

The Bihar bye-elections 2018 are being seen as a major test for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-National Democratic Alliance (NDA) combine and Grand Alliance of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Congress and Hindustan Awam Morcha- Secular (HAM-S) ahead of Lok Sabha Elections 2019.

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The BSP is supporting the SP candidates in the two Lok Sabha seats whereas Congress, which contested the 2017 assembly poll with Samajwadi Party, had fielded its own candidates. Besides Mr. Mandal, some local BJP leaders too are said to be scuttling the chances of the party nominee Pradeep Kumar Singh.

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.

Congress and RJD had issues over seat-sharing before they finalised an arrangement in February under which the former was to contest from Bhabua alone. The saffron party fielded Pandeys wife Rinky Rani.

Bihar BJP chief Nityanand Rai on Friday stoked controversy after he allegedly said, if the RJD candidate Sarfaraz Alam wins the by-election, Araria will become a safe haven for the ISIS. Sources are saying that this will be the first major electoral test for Nitish Kumar who walked out of the Mahagathbandhan previous year and joined hands with the BJP to form the government.

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