Patna: Both the ruling party Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Opposition Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) held their respective seats of Mokama and Gopalganj in the bypolls in Bihar.
In the Mokama Assembly constituency, RJD candidate Neelam Devi defeated BJP candidate Sonam Devi by over 16,000 votes. Neelam Devi is the wife of imprisoned Anant Singh and Sonam Devi is the wife of Nalini Ranjan Singh. Both the candidates were from the upper caste Bhumihar community.
In the Gopalganj Assembly constituency, Kusum Devi candidate of BJP defeated RJD candidate Mohan Prasad Gupta in a wildly fought bypoll by a thin margin of over 2,000 votes. Kusum Devi is the wife of former BJP MLA and Minister Subhas Singh. The bypoll in Mokama was required after sitting Rashtriya Janata Dal MLA and Anant Singh was convicted in an arms seizure case and sentenced to 10 years of prison. Mr. Singh has been representing the seat since 2005.
In Gopalganj the bypoll was held after sitting BJP legislator Subhash Singh’s death after a prolonged illness. In a firmly fought election in Gopalganj, the BJP candidate finally got the seat after several ups and down in vote counting. This has been the first bypoll after ruling ally JD(U) had disavowed the BJP in August this year to form the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ Government along with the RJD, the Congress, and other smaller parties.
Though Chief Minister Nitish Kumar did not campaign for the bypolls referring to health reasons, he released a video message to the voters appealing to them to vote for the RJD candidates.
Though, JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh and RJD leader who is also Deputy Chief Minister of the State Tejashwi Yadav had campaigned in Mokama and Gopalganj for RJD candidates, while Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) leader Chirag Paswan had campaigned and held road shows for BJP candidates at both the places.