Average voter turnout in peaceful polls

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After the voting Chief election officer of Bihar, Ajay Nayak reported to media persons and said that bypolls have passed off peacefully without any violence.

BJP's Pradeep Singh is the party nominee from Araria against Sarfarz, the son of former RJD MP Mohammad Taslimuudin, whose untimely death led to the bypoll.

Average voter turnout marked the by-elections to the Araria Lok Sabha constituency and the Jehanabad and Bhabua Assembly seats in Bihar on Sunday as polling was held in peaceful conditions, without any violence. The bypolls are being seen as a litmus test for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar after he pulled out of the state's Grand Alliance and joined the BJP.

Coming to Bihar bye-elections, a 57 percent voter turnout was recorded in Araria whereas in Jehanabad and Bhabhua 50.6 per cent and 54.3 voter turnout was registered respectively. In Gorakhpur, the BJP had nominated Upendra Dutt Shukla against SP's Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel and Sureetha Kareem of the Congress. Mr Taslimuddin's death necessitated the by-election on this seat. In Jehanabad Assembly seat, the RJD fielded Uday Yadav. Also, the opposition leader Tejashwi Yadav, who has led the campaign in as his father and RJD chief Lalu Prasad, is in jail in a corruption case. It has fielded Mr Pandey's wife Rinky Rani. JD (U) has fielded Abhiram Sharma as its candidate who is giving tough challenge to RJD candidate Mr Yadav.

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An FIR has been lodged against Bihar BJP chief Nityanand Rai for violating the model code of conduct by allegedly making provocative speech during campaigning for Araria Lok Sabha bypolls, an official said today.

The BJP is hopeful of retaining the Bhabua Assembly seat riding on a sympathy wave for Anand Bhushan Pandey whose death at the age of 48 necessitated the bypoll.

The ruling Janata Dal (United) and the BJP are facing a Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal combine in all the three battles. Counting of votes will take place on 14 March. On the other hand, SP had nominated Pravin Nishad whereas, Manish Mishra contested from the seat on Congress ticket. The total number of candidates in the fray here is 17.