In UP bypolls, turnout plunges by 10%, Yogi confident of win

In UP bypolls, turnout plunges by 10%, Yogi confident of win

Counting of votes will take place on March 14.

Two Assembly constituencies Jahanabad and Bhabhua and one Lok Sabha seat of Araria today are undergoing voting that started at 7 AM and ended at 5 PM.

Polling for Bihar's Araria Lok Sabha seat and the Assembly constituencies of Jehanabad and Bhabhua passed off peacefully with an average 54 per cent voting on Sunday. The bypoll was necessitated by the death of RJD MP Mohammed Taslimuddin.

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.

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The saffron party has fielded Kaushalendra Singh Patel from Phulpur and Upendra Dutt Shukla from Gorakhpur against the SP's Pravin Nishad and Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel, respectively.

These bypolls being the first elections after CM and JD (U) stalwart Nitish Kumar walked out of the grand alliance and formed a government in alliance with BJP in July 2017, they are being widely viewed as a mini-referendum on the ruling NDA. Adityanath, who is also Mahant of Gorakhnath temple, had won Gorakhpur for five times in a row since 1998. The key contenders for the seat are RJD's Sarafaraz Alam, Taslimuddin's son, and the BJP's Pradip Singh.

Slow pace of voting on Sunday marked the by-elections for the high stakes battles in Gorakhpur and Phulpur as poll percentage in the two constituencies went down by almost 10% as compared to the 2014 LS elections.

In Jehanabad, the RJD hopes to retain the Assembly seat that fell vacant after the death of Mundrika Yadav. Seventeen candidates are contesting on this seat.

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Out of the three seats, RJD held Araria and Jehanabad seats and the BJP Bhabua. The total number of candidates in the fray here is 17.

Fifty-seven per cent polling was recorded in the by-election to the Araria Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar.

Though fourteen candidates are in the fray in Jehanabad, the fight is mainly between the RJD's Kumar Krishna Mohan and JD (U)'s Abhiram Sharma, who took the seat in the 2010 assembly election.

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