Patna, May 31 (IANS) The opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) is set to wrest an Assembly seat from the ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) in Bihar where it was leading by over 34,000 votes, officials said on Thursday.
After trailing in the initial round of counting, the RJD established a comfortable lead of over 31,000 against JD-U in the bypolls to the Jokihat Assembly seat in Bihar on Thursday, according to the Election Commission officials.
After 20 rounds of the ongoing ballot counting, RJD candidate Shahbawaz Alam established a comfortable lead over JD-U’s Murshid Alam.
The Jokikhat seat fell vacant following the resignation of JD-U MLA Sarfaraz Alam, who joined the RJD.
Voting for the seat took place on Monday.
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 Jitan Ram Manjhi.
Jokihat is a Muslim-dominated Assembly constituency, considered as a stronghold of former Union Minister and Shahnawaz Alam’s father Mohammad Taslimuddin, who died last year leading to bypolls in Araria Lok Sabha seat.
This is for the second time this year the RJD contested polls in the absence of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who was jailed after being convicted in fodder scam case.
At present, Lalu Prasad is undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Mumbai following provisional bail.
The RJD, under the leadership of Tejashwi Yadav, former Deputy Chief Minister and younger son of Lalu Prasad, proved again that it has an edge over the JD-U of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
Two months ago, the RJD has defeated JD-U in bypolls to Jahanbad assembly seat and bypolls to Araria Lok Sabha seat.