The opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) on Thursday wrested the Simri Bakhtiyarpur assembly seat from the ruling JD(U) in Bihar, an election official said. RJD's Zafar Alam defeated JD(U)candidate Arun Kumar by a comprehensive margin of 15,508 votes, the official said.
The by-election to the Assembly seat was necessitated after former state minister and JD(U) MLA Dinesh Chandra Yadav was elected to the Lok Sabha from Madhepura seat.
The ruling NDA in Bihar came out with a dismal performance on Thursday in by-elections to five assembly segments of the state, touted as the "semi-final" ahead of the Vidhan Sabha polls scheduled next year.
But, in Samastipur Lok Sabha seat, its constituent LJP, seems poised to comfortably retain the reserved constituency which fell vacant upon the death of party's sitting MP Ram Chandra Paswan.
His son Prince Raj is ahead of his nearest Congress rival Ashok Kumar by a margin of more than 80,000 votes in Samastipur Parliamentary seat. The poor showing of the ruling coalition in the assembly by-elections has come months after it won 39 out of a total 40 Lok Sabha seats in the parliamentary poll in the state.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumars JD(U), which held four of the five assembly seats going to by-polls, is trailing by substantial margins of over 10,000 votes in Daraundha, Simri Bakhtiarpur and Belhar and by a slender margin in Nathnagar.
By-polls were necessitated in these constituencies upon the incumbents getting elected to the Lok Sabha. The BJP, which contested Kishaganj, is trailing behind dark horse AIMIM of firebrand Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi while the Congress, which held the seat, is finishing a distant third.
The RJD which heads the opposition Grand Alliance and has been smarting under the drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls, has salvaged some pride, having established handsome leads in Simri Bakhtiarpur and Belhar.
The party founded and headed by Lalu Prasad is also leading by a wafer thin margin of under 1,000 votes in Nathnagar where the pitch has been queered for the Grand Alliance on account of former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhis HAM having fielded its candidate.
A rebel candidate who was expelled from the BJP upon refusal to back down in favor of the JD(U) candidate may end up clinching Daraundha in Siwan district which has been a stronghold of the Chief Ministers party, having established an unassailable lead of more than 20,000 votes.