Patna: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar suffered a huge setback after NDA lost three of the five assembly seats during the by-polls on Thursday.
The LJP, which is also a member of NDA in Bihar, however, managed to retain its Samastipur parliamentary seat which fell vacant upon the demise of senior party leader and MP Ram Chandra Paswan. His son Prince Raj won the seat by a comfortable margin by defeating Congress rival Ashok Kumar.
Simri Bakhtiyarpur and Belhar Assembly seats were won by the RJD. Daraundha seat where a rebel BJP leader Karanjeet Singh alias Vyas Singh contested as an independent against the JD(U) nominee also won by a huge margin.
In Kishanganj, BJP candidate Sweety Singh was defeated by Asaduddin Owaisi’s party AIMIM nominee Qamarul Hoda by more than 11,000 votes. According to political experts, AIMIM’s entry in Kishanganj could influence a large group of voters in the Seemanchal region where Muslims have maximum representation.
During the Lok Sabha polls, AIMIM’s candidate Akhtarul Imam was defeated by Congress nominee Mohammad Javed.
Political analysts are of the view that poor performance by the ruling alliance may cause trouble for the JD(U) which has been trying to maintain a status of “big brother” in the NDA. Sources said that a section in the BJP wants introspection at the organizational level to find reasons behind the humiliating defeat.
Speaking on the issue JD(U) spokesperson Arvind Nishad said that, “NDA’s performance in the by-election is a matter of introspection. We will soon review the poll results to find reasons behind our defeat”.
Upbeat over the party’s victory in the by-elections RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwary on Thursday said, “People of Bihar have suffered during the current regime and now want a change. We are sure that the RJD led alliance will be able to form a government in 2020”.
Using the occasion to charge Nitish government for poor handling of flood crisis and AES outbreak in the state, RJD leaders said, “He remained in power for almost 15 years but failed in providing even basic facilities for the people. By-elections is an indication that people of the state are not happy with the government".
By-polls on five assembly seats in Bihar were necessitated after MLAs who represented them won the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year.