Average voter turnout marked the by-elections to the Araria Lok Sabha constituency and the Jehanabad and Bhabua Assembly seats in Bihar on Sunday as polling was held in peaceful conditions, without any violence. However, polling continued peacefully.
Earlier on Wednesday, at a public meeting in Raniganj, senior State BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said that "Nitish Kumar's development works in Bihar and Narendra Modi's across the country" would continue in Araria too if the BJP candidate wins.
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.
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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.
But the area where the firing took place falls in neighbouring Arwal district and so voting was not affected in that polling station, Additional Director General of Police (HQ) S K Singhal said in the statement. The Araria Lok Sabha seat fell vacant after the death of Mohammad Taslimuddin, the sitting RJD MP. Sources are saying that this will be the first major electoral test for Nitish Kumar who walked out of the Mahagathbandhan a year ago and joined hands with the BJP to form the government. Besides Mr. Mandal, some local BJP leaders too are said to be scuttling the chances of the party nominee Pradeep Kumar Singh. Another key candidate for the seat is Shambhu Patel from Congress.
JD (U) had initially stated that it will not contest the bye-elections but later relented at BJP's urging to contest from Jehanabad. "The victory of our candidate Pradip Singh will, on the other hand, give rise to patriotic fervour". The BJP has also fielded Rinki Pandey for the assembly by-election from Bhabua in Bihar.
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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.
Sarfaraz quit as a JD (U) MLA before becoming the RJD candidate from his father's fiefdom.
Check smoke, CO detectors when you spring clocks forward this weekend
Teams making visits to homes will share fire safety and preparedness information and install smoke alarms in homes as requested. If the alarm chirps, a warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.