In Araria, ex-MP Taslimuddin's son, Mohammad Sarfaraz Alam, who resigned as a JDU MLA and joined the RJD, was pitted against BJP's Pradip Singh.
Amid eleborate security arrangements, polling today began on peaceful note at 0700 hours for by-elections to one Lok Sabha seat and two Assembly seats with electorate exercising their franchise to decide fate of 38 candidates.
Araria saw a 57 per cent voter turnout, while Jehanabad and Bhabua witnessed 50.6 and 54.3 per cent polling, respectively. You can say that this seat is important because it has a sizeable population of Dalit voters, the Congress has put up Shambhu Patel, banking on the popularity of former Lok Sabha speaker and Dalit leader Meira Kumar.
Besides, complaints of EVM malfunctioning poured in from Jehanabad and Bhabua, the two Assembly constituencies where there is a straight contest between the NDA and the Grand Alliance.
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Janata Dal (United) is contesting the Jehanabad assembly seat, leaving Araria and Bhabua to its ally, the BJP.
The incendiary comment was made on March 9 when Rai was campaigning with party candidate Pradeep Kumar at Narpatganj. The results for the Araria by-elections will be declared on Wednesday, March 14.
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.
The BJP is counting on a sympathy wave for Anand Bhushan Pandey, whose death at 48 has necessitated the bypoll in Bhabhua, to help retain the seat. However, a total of 14 candidates including three women are in the fray. 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, ahead of the big battle in the general elections due next year.