Lok Sabha bypoll for Araria constituency was held on March 11. It is the first electoral test of reworked BJP-JD(U) alliance in Bihar. The Araria Lok Sabha seat fell vacant last year following the death of RJD MP Mohammed Taslimuddin.
Fifty-seven per cent polling was recorded in the by-election to the Araria Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar. The by-poll 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.
JD-U president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had walked out of NDA after Narendra Modi’s prime ministerial candidature was confirmed in the run up to 2014 Lok Sabha polls. They came together again last year.
Araria Lok Sabha constituency comprises six assembly segments of Narpatganj, Raniganj (SC), Forbesganj, Araria, Jokhihat and Sikti. Of the six assembly segments, four have high concentration of either Yadavs or Muslims – both traditional RJD supporters.
There is direct contest between Taslimuddin’s son and RJD candidate Sarafaraz Alam and BJP’s Pradip Singh, who had won the seat in 2009 – when BJP and JD(U) were in alliance – and finished runner-up in 2014, when JD(U), RJD and Congress had formed the Mahagathbandhan against the BJP.