Jokihaat Assembly bypoll election counting live on May 31: The Jokihat assembly seat, which has been a bastion of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal(United), today put to test his popularity during the bypolls.
The by-elections, held today, hosted a major battle between the JD(U) and RJD as both parties threw their might into their campaigning in support of their candidates.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav campaigned vigorously to win the seat that JD(U) has won for four consecutive times since 2005.
The stakes are quite high for Nitish Kumar as it is the sitting seat of the JDU and a defeat here could send shockwaves ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Two key factors that could turn against JDU are the over 70 per cent Muslim population and the Bihar CM's decision to snap ties with the RJD-Congress Mahagathbandhan last year and ally with the BJP.
The seat fell vacant after sitting legislator Sarfaraz Alam, son of late RJD MP Taslimuddin, quit JD(U) to fight the Araria parliamentary by-elections on an RJD ticket after his father's death. In March, Sarfaraz had won the Araria parliamentary seat when the by-polls were held.
While Taslimuddin's younger son Shahnawaz Alam will contest from RJD, Nitish Kumar's party has fielded Murshid Alam for the Jokihat assembly bypoll.