The “grand alliance” of RJD-JD (U)-Congress and BJP-led NDA are worried at low turnout of voters with 10 Assembly segments recording only 46.42 per cent polls in today’s bypoll as against 52.05 in last Assembly elections. Though bypoll generally records lower vote percentage than main elections, the low voter turnout does not seem to have dropped any hints for either alliance to gauge if Narendra Modi factor is still at work or Lalu-Nitish combination has started working.
Narkatiaganj (West Champaran) recorded highest 58 per cent polling, Bhagalpur recorded lowest poll with only 37 per cent voter turnout. Interestingly, both seats are known as traditional BJP bastions.
Chhapra, battle of prestige between Lalu Prasad and BJP, recorded only 47.4 per cent poll despite high -pitched campaign from both sides. With BJP winning this seat in 2010 elections and also wresting Saran Lok Sabha seat from RJD, it was all the more a battle of prestige for Lalu Prasad.
Hajipur seat recorded 46 per cent votes, followed by 45 per cent at Parbatta and Banka, 44 per cent at Jale and 42 per cent at Rajnagar. Moiuddinagar recorded 57 per cent votes and Mohania 47.2 per cent.
During and before polls, 33 preventive arrests were made and 12 vehicles were impounded. There was no report of bungling from any Assembly segment. The poll results would be out on 25 August. Though the result will have no bearing on the continuity of JD (U) government, it may well have impact on future of Lalu-Nitish combination.
Sources said Ashish Khetan will be the vice-chairman of the commission.
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