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

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

RJD on Sunday announced candidates for two of the six seats of Rajya Sabha from Bihar for which election is scheduled to be held on March 23. The RJD has fielded Sarfaraj Alam, son of Taslimuddin, while the BJP has given ticket to Pradeep Kumar Singh, who won the seat in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. He again became the Chief Minister with the support of BJP and Sushil Modi became his deputy.

Fifty-seven per cent polling was recorded in the by-election to the Araria Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar today, a senior poll official said.

Gorakhpur: Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath at a polling station to cast his vote for Lok Sabha by-election.

The total number of candidates in the fray here is 17.

In Araria, ex-MP Taslimuddin's son Md Sarfaraz Alam, who resigned as a JD (U) MLA and joined RJD was pitted against BJP's Pradip Singh.

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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.

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.

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. Meanwhile, the Congress put up Shambhu Patel.

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. Also, the opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav, who has led the campaign in as his father and RJD chief Lalu Prasad, is in jail in a corruption case.

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.