RJD wins Araria LS seat, shares hon­ours with BJP in assem­bly re­sults

The Free Press Journal - - FRONT PAGE -

The RJD on Wed­nes­day won the Araria Lok Sabha seat in Bi­har as well the Je­han­abad assem­bly con­stituency while BJP bagged the Bhab­hua assem­bly seg­ment in by­polls that were con­sid­ered the first elec­toral test af­ter Ni­tish Ku­mar dumped the Grand Al­liance and joined hands with BJP last year. The out­come is bad news for Chief Min­is­ter Ku­mar whose party can­di­date Ab­hi­ram Sharma was beaten in Je­han­abad by more than 35,000 votes by RJD's Su­day Ya­dav. While BJP fielded can­di­dates in Araria and Bhab­hua, the JD (U) was in the fray in Je­han­abad, which is nearly 60 km from cap­i­tal Patna. In Araria, RJD's Sar­faraz Alam de­feated his near­est BJP ri­val Pradip Ku­mar Singh by over 60,000 votes. Alam had crossed over from JD (U) to Lalu Prasad's party to con­test the by­poll ne­ces­si­tated by the death of his fa­ther and RJD MP Mo­ham­mad Taslimud­din on Septem­ber 17, 2017. In Je­han­abad, RJD's win­ner Su­day Ya­dav is son of Mun­drika Singh Ya­dav, for­mer state min­is­ter and a close as­so­ciate of Lalu Prasad, whose death ne­ces­si­tated the by­elec­tion. BJP's Rinki Rani Pandey, wife of Anand Bhu­san Pandey whose death caused the by­poll, de­feated Congress ri­val Shambhu Singh Pa­tel by about 14,000 votes in Bhab­hua. Though the re­sults will have no nu­mer­i­cal con­se­quence ei­ther in Par­lia­ment or on the

health of the JD (U)-BJP coali­tion min­istry in Bi­har, the by­polls were seen as a lit­mus test for Ku­mar. The re­sults are a boost to Te­jaswi Ya­dav, younger son of Lalu Prasad, who spear­headed the party cam­paign in the ab­sence of his fa­ther who is in Ranchi jail in con­nec­tion with fod­der scam cases. The by­polls were held on March 11. JD (U) spokesman and MLC Neeraj Ku­mar said, "We do pol­i­tics on our own terms, with­out com­pro­mis­ing on prin­ci­ples. The RJD, against which we were pit­ted, is sit­ting on pots of money. It is headed by Lalu Prasad who is in jail for cor­rup­tion. Its heir ap­par­ent Te­jashwi Ya­dav was born with a sil­ver spoon in his mouth".

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