Other States

Jolt for Nitish as RJD gains substantially in Bihar bypolls

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his Deputy Sushil Kumar Modi. File photo.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his Deputy Sushil Kumar Modi. File photo.   | Photo Credit: PTI

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Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM makes its debut in the State by winning one seat

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s “good governance and development plank” suffered badly in the Assembly byelections in the State. The Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal gained substantially while Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) made its debut by winning one seat. One seat went to an Independent candidate.

However, in the bypoll to Samastipur Lok Sabha (reserved) seat, NDA candidate Prince Raj of the Lok Janshakti Party emerged victorious defeating Congress candidate Ashok Kumar by over one lakh votes. In the last parliamentary election, Ram Chandra Paswan, father of Mr. Prince Raj, defeated the same Congress candidate. The bypoll was necessitated following Paswan’s death. Mr. Prince Raj is nephew of LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan.

Mostly relatives

In the 2015 Assembly elections, the ruling JD(U) won all four Assembly seats of Nathnagar, Belhar, Simri-Bakhtiyarpur and Daraunda. Since all the party MLAs were elected to the Lok Sabha in the 2019 election, these seats had fallen vacant and the JD(U) had put up its candidates, mostly relatives of those elected MPs. The BJP had fielded its lone candidate in Kishanganj, which was bagged by the Congress candidate, Mohd. Javed in 2015. Later, in 2019, Mr. Javed too got elected to the Lok Sabha on Congress ticket and a bypoll was necessitated there.

Out of four contested seats, the JD(U) could retain only one seat of Nathnagar from where party candidate Laxmikant Mandal defeated RJD’s Rabiya Khatun in a keenly contested poll. RJD nominees Ramdeo Yadav and Zafar Alam registered win in Belhar and Simri-Bakhtiyarpur seats defeating JD(U) candidates Laldhari Yadav and Arun Yadav. In Daraunda, Independent candidate Karanjit Singh alias Vyasji Singh won the poll by over 27,000 votes. Mr. Singh, a rebel BJP candidate, was recently expelled from the party for contesting the by-poll against NDA’s official candidate Ajay Singh of the JD(U). Mr. Ajay Singh, against whom many criminal cases are pending in Siwan, is husband of JD(U) MP Kavita Singh. The RJD had fielded Umesh Singh as its candidate there.

However, the real surprise came from the Seemanchal area of Kishanganj, where AIMIM candidate Qamrul Hoda won the poll defeating BJP’s Sweety Singh. With this win, Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM made its debut in the Bihar Assembly. The Congress had fielded Sayeeda Bano, 72, mother of party MP Mohd. Javed from the seat. “I think we lost the poll as local party workers and voters were not enthused by the candidate who is relative of party MP,” senior State Congress leader Sadanand Singh told journalists in Patna.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 8:12:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/jolt-for-nitish-as-rjd-gains-substantially-in-bihar-bypolls/article29789908.ece

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