Patna: BJP surges ahead of RJD in Araria Lok Sabha seat after first round of counting on Wednesday, while JD(U) is leading by 23 votes in Jehanabad.
Both Araria Lok Sabha seat and Jehanabad Assembly seat were held by RJD. Now, NDA is leading in all the three seats. BJP’s Pradip Singh is leading by 2,300 votes in Araria Lok Sabha seat, while its candidate Rani Rinki Pandey is leading with 2,225 votes in Bhabua. JD(U)’s Abhiram Sharmais leading by 23 votes in Jehanabad.
Amid tight security counting of votes for Araria Lok Sabha seat and Jehanabad and Bhabhua assembly seats began on Wednesday morning.
As RJD was leading initially in Araria, BJP candidate from the seat, Pradip Singh, said, “I don’t believe in early trends. Let’s wait for a couple of hours; I will win.”
Re-polling was completed at 27 booths in Bhabua constituency on Tuesday, which was necessitated due to malfunctioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during polls on March 11.
The polling percentage in all the three constituencies was five to seven per cent lower than the last elections as voters did not come out aggressively. 57% voting was recorded in Araria, followed by 54% in Bhabua and 50% in Jehanabad.
As counting begins in Bihar, police personnel deployed outside a counting centre in Araria
Numerically, these by polls might be of less significance but this is being termed as litmus test for Bihar’s chief minister Nitish Kumar as the people would be voting for the first time after the CM pulled out of RJD-Congress alliance and formed a new government with the support of BJP-led NDA.
This is also a test for NDA’s unity and strength as just before the polls Jitan Ram Manjhi, former CM and leader of Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), left NDA and joined ‘mahagathbandhan’ with RJD and Congress.
Bypolls for Araria Lok Sabha seat was necessitated after the demise of the sitting RJD MP Mohammad Taslimuddin. His son Sarfaraz Alam, JD(U) MLA from Jokihat assembly segment of the Lok Sabha Constituency, defected after announcement of bypolls and fought on RJD ticket. The BJP fielded Pradip Singh, who was runner up in 2014 elections.
However, equations changed this time as JD (U) supported its ally BJP whose candidate Vijay Mandal had mustered more than two lakh votes in 2014 elections. Going by 2014 arithmetic, combined votes of BJP and JD(U) was much more than the winning margin of RJD’s Mohammad Taslimuddin.
Jehanabad assembly seat was held by the RJD. After the death of its MLA Mundrika Singh Yadav, the party chose his son Sujay Yadav as candidate. On the other hand, JD(U) fielded veteran local leader Abhiram Sharma.
In Bhabua, Rinky Pandey contested on BJP’s ticket as the bypoll was necessitated after the demise of her husband Anand Bhushan Pandey. The RJD conceded the seat for its ally Congress, which fielded Shambhu Patel.