The Araria Lok Sabha seat fell vacant after the death of Mohammad Taslimuddin, the sitting RJD MP. Both the leaders have campaigned in their erstwhile Lok Sabha constituencies extensively while Akhilesh Yadav of Samajwadi Party held the fort for the opposition. In Phulpur, Kaushalendra Singh Patel from the BJP, Nagendra Singh Patel from SP, Manish Mishra from Congress are in fray.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded former mayor of Varanasi, Kaushlendra Singh Patel as its candidate from Phulpur while Upendra Shukla would contest from Gorakhpur.
Bypoll for two Gorakhpur and Phulpur Lok Sabha seats and Araria Lok Sabha seat will be held in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar respectively.
This is the first electoral battle in the state since Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who also heads the JD (U), walked out of the alliance with the RJD and the Congress and joined the BJP-led NDA a year ago.
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Counting of votes will take place on March 14.
Reports of defective EVMs came from Bhabhua Assembly constituency, where voting was affected at 24 polling stations. The poll was necessitated because of the death of Mohd Taslimuddin of RJD whose son Sarfaraz Alam has been fielded.
JD (U) had initially stated that it will not contest the bye-elections but later relented at BJP's urging to contest from Jehanabad.
BJP State president Nityanand Rai, addressing a public meeting on Friday, said that Araria would turn into "an Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) hub if Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) wins the by-poll". Besides Mr. Mandal, some local BJP leaders too are said to be scuttling the chances of the party nominee Pradeep Kumar Singh. JD (U) has fielded Abhiram Sharma as its candidate who is giving tough challenge to RJD candidate Mr Yadav. There were 17 candidates in the fray in Bhabhua.
Araria bypoll in Bihar: Fifty-seven per cent polling was recorded in the by-election to the Araria Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar, a senior poll official said.