Lok Sabha Bypoll For UP's Gorakhpur, Phulpur And Bihar's Araria Underway

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

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.

"The byelections in the three constituencies â€" one Lok Sabha and two Asssembly seats â€" in Bihar assume significance as this is the first-ever poll which has been held after Nitish Kumar switched sides and formed government with the help of BJP-led NDA after dumping his previous partners RJD and the Congress in July 2017.

In the Bhabua and Jehanabad Assembly constituencies, where by-polls were also held, the voter turnout was 54.03 per cent and 50.06 per cent respectively after polling ended at 5 pm, Bihar Chief Electoral Officer Ajay V Nayak said. Mr Taslimuddin's death necessitated the by-election on this seat.

While campaigning for his party's candidate at a public meeting at Narpatganj on March 9, Rao allegedly said, if the RJD candidate wins this election, Araria will become a safe haven for the ISIS.

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Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was among the early voters in Gorakhpur.

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 poll was necessitated with the death of Mundrika Yadav, the seat that RJD hopes to retain in this Assembly bypoll.

In Bihar, apart from the Lok Sabha seat, two assembly seats of Jehanabad and Bhabua are also being contested. Mayawati has not fielded any candidate for the by-elections, announcing that her party workers "will vote for the candidate who is best positioned to defeat the BJP". The key contenders for the seat are RJD's Sarafaraz Alam, Taslimuddin's son, and the BJP's Pradip Singh. For the ruling JD (U)-BJP combine, it will be a test of the NDA's unity, CM's popularity and their governance policies. Ten candidates are in the fray from Gorakhpur, while 22 candidates are contesting from Phulpur. JD (U) has fielded Abhiram Sharma as its candidate who is giving tough challenge to RJD candidate Mr Yadav.

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