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Jolt to Nitish Kumar as RJD wins Jokihat assembly bypoll in Bihar by huge margin

RJD candidate Shahnawaz Alam defeated Murshid Alam of JD(U) by over 41,000 votes

india Updated: May 31, 2018 22:25 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar along with deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi at an event in Patna on 28 May 2018.
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar along with deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi at an event in Patna on 28 May 2018. (PTI)

With his father Lalu Prasad in prison, convicted of corruption charges, and battling frail health, and his party in opposition, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)’s second-generation face Tejashwi Yadav has decisively emerged as a key leader in Bihar with yet another bypoll win on Thursday.

The RJD, in alliance with the Congress, comfortably won Araria’s Jokihat seat. Its candidate Shahnawaz Alam defeated the Janta Dal–United (JD-U) nominee, Murshid Alam by over 41,225 votes.

By-election results
Voting was held on May 28 for four Lok Sabha and 10 assembly constituencies
ConstituencyWinsHeld by
Kairana (Uttar Pradesh)RLDBJP
Palghar (Maharashtra)BJPBJP
Bhandara- Gondiya (Maharashtra)NCPBJP
ConstituencyWinsHeld by
Noorpur (Uttar Pradesh)SPBJP
Shahkot (Punjab)CongressSAD
Jokihat (Bihar)RJDJD(U)
Gomia (Jharkhand)JMMJMM
Silli (Jharkhand)JMMJMM
Chengannur (Kerala)CPI(M)CPI(M)
Palus Kadegaon (Maharashtra)CongressCongress
Ampati (Meghalaya)CongressCongress
Tharali (Uttarakhand)BJPBJP
Maheshtala (West Bengal)TMCTMC

The win comes months after the party won the Araria Lok Sabha by-election.

Yadav used the opportunity to attack Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who parted ways with the RJD-led Grant Alliance to switch to the BJP last year.

READ MORE: Live updates on bypolls

“In the last assembly poll, when JD (U) was with the grand alliance, the BJP candidate had secured 39,000 votes. With Nitish in NDA (National Democratic Alliance) now, their candidate could only fetch 499 more votes.” He added that RJD’s doors for Kumar had been shut forever.

The outcome also exposed a divide within the ruling alliance. JD (U) general secretary KC Tyagi told a television channel that the loss might be a result of people’s outrage against the BJP due to an increase in price of petrol and diesel.

“One by-poll result should not make anyone euphoric,” said health minister Mangal Pandey.

But for the opposition, the key takeaway was the rise of Yadav.

“The back-to-back to victory has established Tejaswhi as an able heir of Lalu Prasad, while virtually writing an obituary for the Nitish-brand of politics,’ said RJD leader and Rajya Sabha MP Manoj Kumar Jha.

First Published: May 31, 2018 14:08 IST

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