Over 50% turnout in Bihar bypoll

Over 50% turnout in Bihar bypoll

Over 50% turnout in Bihar bypoll

"Webcasting was done from 197 polling stations and officials, including those from the Election Commission, watched it to keep tabs on the voting", said Bihar's chief electoral officer (CEO) Ajay V. Nayak.

Also, in Araria, a seat that fell vacant after the death of RJD lawmaker Mohd Taslimuddin, the party has fielded his son Sarfaraz Alam, looking to capitalize on Muslim and Yadav voters who make up a big chunk of the electorate.

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.

Coming to Bihar bye-elections, a 57 percent voter turnout was recorded in Araria whereas in Jehanabad and Bhabhua 50.6 per cent and 54.3 voter turnout was registered respectively. You can say that this seat is important because it has a sizeable population of Dalit voters, the Congress has put up Shambhu Patel, banking on the popularity of former Lok Sabha speaker and Dalit leader Meira Kumar.

The bypoll was necessitated after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya vacated their seats in Gorakhpur and Phulpur, respectively, on taking office.

Of the 11 preventive arrests made by the police today, one was arrested in Araria Lok Sabha constituency while others were nabbed in Bhabhua Assembly seat, police said. It has fielded Mr Pandey's wife Rinky Rani.

In Araria, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress is pitted against the BJP-Janata Dal (United) alliance. A total of 14 candidates are in the fray though the contest is mainly between the RJD nominee and JD (U)'s Abhiram Sharma who had won the seat in the 2010 Assembly polls. The party gave ticket to Yadav's son Kumar Krishna Mohan.

Counting of votes will take place on March 14.

The poll was necessitated with the death of Mundrika Yadav, the seat that RJD hopes to retain in this Assembly bypoll. There were 17 candidates in the fray in Bhabhua. JD (U) which was earlier reluctant to contest election, fielded its candidate on request from BJP.

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