Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Wednesday campaigned for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate for the Araria Lok Sabha by-elections in Raniganj in Bihar.
Kumar and Modi addressed a public rally at Lalji High School in Raniganj near Araria. Photographs of the rally were shared on microblogging site Twitter by Sushil Kumar Modi.
अररिया लोक सभा के उप चुनाव में भाजपा प्रत्याशी श्री प्रदीप सिंह के लिए चुनाव प्रचार के दौरान रानीगंज के लालजी हाई स्कूल में आयोजित चुनावी सभा को सम्बोधित करते हुए। pic.twitter.com/N0qYNhM7YK
— Sushil Kumar Modi (@SushilModi) March 7, 2018
The BJP had declared the name of Pradip Kumar Singh as its candidate for the Araria Lok Sabha by-elections in February. The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has fielded Sarfaraz Alam, son of deceased MP Mohammad Taslimuddin, who had defeated Kumar in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The Congress has fielded acting party president of the state unit, Kaukab Qadri, from the Araria seat.
Polling in Araria is scheduled to held on March 11. Jehanabad also goes to polls for Assembly by-elections in the seat.
Both seats were held by the RJD and deaths of Mohammed Taslimuddin, who won from Araria in 2014, and Mundrika Yadav, who was an MLA from Jehanabad, have necessitated the March 11 by-polls.
Taslimuddin had won despite a palpable 'Modi wave' across the state but the JD(U) had contested the Lok Sabha polls independently then after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had split with the BJP.
The RJD candidate had bagged over 41 percent vote and the combined vote share of the BJP and JD(U) was close to 50 percent.
In a constituency where Muslim voters are over 35 percent, the BJP is banking on a consolidation of Hindu voters with the JD(U) in its camp now.
NDA sources pointed out that BJP candidates had won in 2004 and 2009 polls when the JD(U) was their ally.
(With PTI Inputs)