RJD and BJP manage to retain their respective seats in Bihar

PATNA: The ruling RJD and the opposition BJP managed to retain their respective seats of Mokama and Gopalganj in Bihar by-elections on Sunday.

The RJD candidate Neelam Devi defeated the BJP’s Sonam Devi by over 16000 votes in Mokama. The BJP was contesting from the assembly seat for the first time in two decades.

The ruling coalition gave the ticket to Neelam Devi after the assembly seat fell vacant following her husband Anant Singh’s conviction in the arms act case. Mokama has been the stronghold of Bahubali Anant Singh since 2005.

However, the RJD suffered a setback in Gopalganj, which is the home turf of Lalu Yadav. The RJD candidate Mohan Prasad Gupta was defeated by the BJP’s Kusum Devi by a narrow margin of around 2000 votes.

The by-election in Gopalganj was necessitated after Kusum Devi’s husband Subhash Singh, a BJP MLA passed away recently after a prolonged illness.

It is being said that the AIMIM played a major role in cutting the vote share of the RJD in Gopalganj. The Asaduddin Owaisi’s party was contesting from the seat for the first time.

The BSP is also said to have spoilt the chances of RJD by making a dent in RJD’s vote share. The party fielded Lalu Yadav’s brother-in-law Anirudh Prasad Yadav alias Sadhu Yadav’s wife Indira Devi from the seat.

The AIMIM candidate managed to get around 12000 votes while the BSP won 9000 votes from the seat.

The by-election in Bihar was seen as a tough challenge for the BJP after Nitish Kumar snapped ties and formed a coalition government with RJD, Congress and other opposition parties.

According to political experts here, the by-election had become a battle of prestige for RJD, especially Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav who had campaigned vigorously in Gopalganj to win the assembly seat.

“The RJD is looking for hollow excuses to save its face after losing in Gopalganj which is the ancestral home of Lalu Yadav. The party was defeated from the seat despite all the support from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar as well as gimmicks and techniques of the grand alliance. They fielded a candidate from the Vaishya community but they failed to corner the BJP. Their defeat is a tribute to the popular leader Subhash Singh”, BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said.

The BJP leader said that “the party would strengthen its organizational structure in Mokama and other districts and win by a huge margin in the next election”.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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