Mega bypolls in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar; test for BJP and Nitish

12 March, 2018, 09:16 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • The bye-elections are being held for Araria Lok Sabha seat and Jahanabad and Bhabhua Assembly constituencies

The polling was by and large peaceful, the election official said.

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.

This is the first bypoll for Nitish Kumar-led NDA government in Bihar after it severed ties with the grand alliance past year. According to a report, 57% voting in Araria, 54.03% in Bhabhua and 50.6% in Jehanabad was recorded on Sunday.

BJP combine and the opposition alliance of RJD-Congress are battling for the three seats, all of which fell vacant due to the deaths of the sitting representatives.

Slow pace of voting on Sunday marked the by-elections for the high stakes battles in Gorakhpur and Phulpur as poll percentage in the two constituencies went down by almost 10% as compared to the 2014 LS elections. The party gave ticket to Yadav's son Kumar Krishna Mohan.

Janata Dal (United) is contesting the Jehanabad assembly seat, leaving Araria and Bhabua to its ally, the BJP.

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The BJP is counting on a sympathy wave for Anand Bhushan Pandey, whose death at 48 has necessitated the bypoll in Bhabhua, to help retain the seat. There were seven candidates in the fray in Araria, the third most important being Victor Yadav of Pappu Yadav's Jan Adhikar Party (JAP).

The saffron party has fielded Kaushalendra Singh Patel from Phulpur and Upendra Dutt Shukla from Gorakhpur against the SP's Pravin Nishad and Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel, respectively.

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.

Sarfaraz quit as a JD (U) MLA before becoming the RJD candidate from his father's fiefdom.

For bye-elections 2018, a total of 10 candidates are in the fray from Gorakhpur, while there are 22 candidates contesting from Phulpur.

The results to be announced on March 14 are being keenly watched in Uttar Pradesh as it could lead to a bigger opposition alliance before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

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