First Electoral Battle Since Nitish-Lalu Split
Though seven candidates are in the fray in Araria, the contest is mainly between Taslimuddin's son, Rashtriya Janata Dal's Sarafaraz Alam, and the Bharatiya Janata Party's Pradip Singh, who had won the seat in 2009 and finished runners-up in 2014.
At the time, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U) had fought separately and finished third.
The bypoll in Araria is being viewed as a test for the ruling JD(U)-BJP combine as well as the opposition RJD-Congress alliance.
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 last year.
In Jehanabad, the RJD hopes to retain the Assembly seat that fell vacant after the death of Mundrika Yadav. The party gave ticket to Yadav's son Kumar Krishna Mohan.
On the other hand, the BJP is hopeful of retaining the Bhabhua Assembly seat riding on a sympathy wave for Anand Bhushan Pandey whose death at the age of 48 necessitated the bypoll. The saffron party fielded Pandey's wife Rinky Rani.
The RJD retained the Jehanabad assembly seat and won Araria by a huge margin of 61,988 votes. The BJP, on the other hand, clinched the Bhabua assembly seat.
- Tejashwi Yadav called it “no ordinary victory”, saying it “will give a direction to the nation”
- Bihar’s BJP president Nityanand Rai said that people have given sympathy votes for RJD and that they will “certainly win” the 2019 elections
- RJD’s Sarfaraz Alam won the Araria Lok Sabha constituency by 61,988 votes
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RJD Confident of Winning Back Muslim Support Base
As far as caste equations go, out of the six Assembly segments in Araria, four have a high concentration of either the Yadavs or Muslims, both of whom have been traditional RJD voters, PTI reported.
The RJD is hopeful that its traditional support base, the Muslim-Yadav combine, along with Dalits, which forms a major chunk of the electorate, votes for its candidate. According to PTI, the party is not ready to concede as it now has Mahadalit leader Jitan Ram Manjhi as an ally.
Manjhi, the former chief minister of the state, left the NDA claiming that “faulty” sand mining policy of the Nitish Kumar government had stalled construction activities, thereby adversely affecting Mahadalit and EBC workers.
Manjhi's Hindustani Awami Morcha-Secular (HAM-S) cut his ties with the NDA and joined the RJD-led Grand Alliance on 28 February.
"Nitish Kumar has lost his sway among the Mahadalits because of the ill-treatment meted out to leaders like former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi who is now with us," he told PTI.
(With PTI and ANI inputs)
Counting of Votes Begins at 8 am
Counting of votes for the Lok Sabha by-polls in Araria and state assembly constituencies Jehanabad and Bhabua began at 8 am on Wednesday, 14 March.
Fifty-seven per cent polling was registered in Araria according to Bihar's Chief Electoral Officer Ajay V Nayak.
In the Bhabua and Jehanabad Assembly constituencies in Bihar bypolls where the voter turnout was 54.03 per cent and 50.06 per cent respectively, he said.
RJD ahead in Araria, Jehanabad
The RJD is leading in Araria Lok Sabha seat and Jehanabad Assembly seat while the BJP is ahead in Bhabua Assembly seat, reported News18.
Counting Continues in Bihar's Araria
EVMs opened at a counting centre in Bihar's Araria as counting of votes continues.
BJP leading in Bihar's Araria
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Pradip Singh is leading after first few rounds of voting in Bihar’s Araria Lok Sabha seat, reported ANI. The BJP has also taken the lead in the Jehanabad Assembly seat while the RJD is leading in Bhabua, as per ANI reports.
Bihar By-Election Results: BJP Leading By 2,891 Votes
After initial rounds of counting, the BJP’s Pradip Singh is leading with 58,225 votes. The RJD is on the second spot with 55,334 votes.
The BJP has also taken the lead in Bhabua by 2,714 votes. However, the RJD is still leading in Jehanabad.
Bihar By-Election Results: BJP is leading by 8,979 Votes
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s Pradip Singh is ahead of Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Sarafaraz Alam by 8,979 votes.
While the BJP has 1,13,169 votes, the RJD is second with 1,04,190.
The BJP also maintained its lead in Bhabua by 2,528 votes, while the RJD is leading in Jehanabad by 8,899 votes.
Bihar By-Election Results: BJP Leading By 1,749 Votes
The BJP is also leading in Bhabua after 8th round of counting with 19,738 votes. RJD leading in Jehanabad after 10th round of counting with 29,551 votes.
Bihar By-Election Results: RJD Takes Lead in Araria
The RJD has taken the lead in Araria with 1,95,527 votes, while the BJP is second with 195072 votes.
The BJP retains its lead in Bhabua with 23,640 votes though RJD is still leading in Jehanabad with 32,554 votes.
Bihar By-Election Results: RJD Extends Lead to 12,151 Votes
Widening the gap, the RJD extended its lead over BJP to 12,151 votes with 2,57,108 votes in their pockets. BJP trails with 2,44,957 votes.
Bihar By-Election Results: RJD Almost Doubles Its Lead in Araria
The RJD almost doubled its lead to 23,187 with 3,33,050 votes, while the BJP is trailing with 3,09,863 votes.
The RJD is still leading in Jehanabad with 52,609 votes while BJP has a stronghold in Bhabua with 40,501 votes.
Mamata Banerjee Congratulates Lalu Prasad Yadav
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee congratulated RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav in a tweet, for taking a massive lead in the Bihar bypolls for the Lok Sabha seat in Araria and the Assembly Constituency seat in Jehanabad.
Thanking her, Lalu Prasad Yadav replied, “Together We are fighting, we shall fight & We will Win.”
Bihar By-Election Results: RJD Wins Jehanabad Assembly Seat
Lalu Prasad Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal candidate Krishna Mohan beats BJP to clinch the Jehanabad assembly seat in the Bihar bypolls
Bihar By-Election Results: BJP Clinches Bhabua
BJP’s Rinky Rani Pandey beats RJD candidate to win the Bhabua assembly seat in the Bihar bypolls.
Omar Abdullah Congratulates Tejashwi, Misa
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah congratulated Lalu Prasad Yadav’s children Tejashwi Yadav and Misa Bharti for RJD’s performance in the Bihar bypolls.
"We Shall Fight", Lalu Thanks Mamata
RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav thanked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her congratulatory tweet on Bihar bypolls result.
Rahul Gandhi Tweets Congratulating Winners
Congress president Rahul Gandhi congratulated the winners of the bypoll seats, stating that their victory reflected the voters’ anger towards the BJP.
It is clear from the by-poll results that voters are angry with BJP and they will vote for the non-BJP candidate who has strongest chance of winning. As far as Congress is concerned, we are committed towards rebuilding the party in Uttar Pradesh, and that does not happen overnight.Rahul Gandhi on Twitter
Bihar By-Election Results: RJD Leads by Over 50,000 Votes
RJD’s Sarafaraz Alam is leading by 57,791 with 4,46,179 votes in Bihar’s Araria. The BJP is trailing with 3,88,388 votes in the seat after 22nd round of counting.
Manjhi Accuses BJP of Working For "Face Value"
Former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi accused the BJP of working for its “face value”, and advised that the party should instead “work for the people”.
ED, CBI Will Conduct More Proceedings Now: Tejashwi Yadav
Former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav said that he suspects there will be more proceedings by ED and CBI following the party’s win in the bypoll seats.
"Bihar Has Given Sympathy Votes": Bihar BJP President
Bihar’s BJP President Nityanand Rai said that people have given sympathy votes for RJD in the bypoll constituencies and that they will “certainly win” the 2019 elections.
Bihar By-Election Results: RJD Clinches Araria By Huge Margin
RJD’s Sarfaraz Alam won the Araria Lok Sabha constituency by 61,988 votes. RJD polled a total of 5,09,334 votes while BJP got 4,47,346 votes.
Tejashwi Yadav Addresses Media After RJD's Victory in Jehanabad and Araria
Addressing the media after RJD’s win in Jehanabad and Araria, Tejashwi Yadav said:
Tejashwi took a dig at JDU’s Nitish Kumar accusing him of moral corruption and saying it was time for him to offer an explanation.
He also welcomed those leaders who were dissatisfied with the NDA into the fold of the mahagathbandhan (grand alliance).