55% voting in bypolls to Bihar's Jokihat Assembly seat

Patna, May 28 Voting in the by-election to Jokihat Assembly seat in Bihar passed off peacefully on Monday with nearly 55 per cent polling, officials said.

"It passed off peacefully barring some group clashes between supporters of rival candidates. Nearly 55 per cent votes were cast amid tight security," said a police official.

There are reports of boycott of polls by people in over half a dozen villages and malfunctioning of EVMs at several polling booths.

The seat fell vacant following the resignation of ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) MLA Sarfaraz Alam, who joined opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

The main candidates in the by-polls are JD-U's Murshid Alam, RJD's Shahnawaz Alam and an Independent candidate Mohammad Shabbir.

The JD-U was backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), while the RJD had the support of the Congress and Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) of former Chief Minister of Jitan Ram Manjhi.

Jokihat is a Muslim-dominated assembly constituency, considered stronghold of former Union Minister Mohammad Taslimuddin, who died last year leading to bypolls in Araria Lok Sabha sest early this year. Taslimuddin's son Sarfaraz Alam quit JD-U and contested and won bypolls from Araria seat as an RJD candidate.

RJD candidate from Jokihat bypolls Shahnawaz Alam is younger son of Taslimuddin and brother of Sarfaraz Alam.



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