The RJD today won the Araria Lok Sabha seat with its candidate Sarafaraz Alam defeating nearest rival Pradip Kumar Singh of BJP by over 60,000 votes.
Sarafaraz Alam is son of Mohammad Taslimuddin whose demise necessitated the bypoll. BJP’s Pradip Singh had won from here in 2009 and lost in 2014.
Alam had crossed over from JD(U) to Lalu Prasad's party to contest the bypoll. Alam’s father Taslimuddin had died on September 17 last year.
Though the results will have no numerical consequence either in Parliament or on the health of the JD(U)-BJP coalition in Bihar, the bypolls were seen as a litmus test for CM Nitish Kumar.
The results are a boost to Tejaswi Yadav, younger son of Lalu Prasad, who spearheaded the party campaign in the absence of his father who is in Ranchi jail in connection with fodder scam cases.
Notably, the JD(U) - headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar - had initially announced that it would not take part in the by-elections. However, following infighting within the NDA which saw HAM leader Jitan Ram Manjhi moving to the opposition camp and an appeal by the BJP, the JD(U) agreed to enter the fray from the seat it had won in 2010 assembly polls with ally BJP.
RJD general secretary and MLA Bhola Yadav claimed "the results prove that the people of Bihar have made up their mind to say good-bye to the NDA".