Upset for Nitish Kumar as RJD Candidate Wins Jokihat Seat

RJD leaders hold a press conference in Patna on Thursday following the party's victory in Jokihat election.

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Patna: Nitish-led Janata Dal – U in Bihar received a huge setback on Thursday when its candidate in the Jokihat Assembly seat lost to the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) candidate in the special election by a margin of over 41,000 votes.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who had left no stone unturned in his attempt to defeat the RJD candidate after making the election a matter of personal prestige for himself, congratulated the winner while maintaining win and loss were part of the democratic system of the country and he respected the people's verdict in the constituency that had been held by the RJD for a very long time.

Shahnawaz Alam, the brother of Araria MP Sarfaraz Alam and the son of late RJD MP Mohammed Taslimuddin, beat the JD-U candidate Murshid Alam by an impressive margin of over 41,000 votes in a highly Muslim-dominated constituency.

Interestingly, the loser has a long history of crime including receiving stolen properties from temples and gang rape.

The Alam brothers also have many run-ins with the law including the infamous train incident in 2016 when Sarfaraz Alam was accused of misbehaving with a woman that led to his sacking from the JD-U and subsequently his joining the RJD.

Pleased by the turn of event, RJD de facto chief Tejaswi Yadav said it was a 'defeat of opportunism over 'Laluwaad', or ideals of party President Lalu Prasad Yadav, the messiah of poor, Dalits, backwards, and minorities.'

Celebration in the RJD camp following the defeat of JD-U candidate in Jokihat.

Addressing Nitish Kumar as his Chacha (uncle), the former Deputy Chief Minister, during a press conference in Patna on Thursday, said that the Chief Minister spent a huge amount of money on this special election and yet came back empty-handed as this was the defeat of 'opportunism over Laluwaad'.

"He (Nitish Kumar) poured in untold amount of money along with the entire government machinery into this election but people of Jokihat overwhelmingly rejected his leadership. This is just the beginning. The day of the NDA is numbered as people of India have become frustrated with the failed policies of Narendra Modi," Yadav, who was flanked from both sides by senior party leaders like Shivanand Tiwari, Ramchandra Purvey, and others, said.

Tejaswi Yadav also thanked his allies in Samajwadi Party, Congress, and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) saying this alliance was ready to 'save the democracy' from the clutches of the Sangh Parivar.

Continuing his assault on Nitish Kumar, the RJD leader said that the Chief Minister had been reduced to the status of a captain who cannot even find a place in the playing eleven.

"If he has any conscience, he should immediately resign from his post. The fact is, he has come to the realization that his days in Bihar politics are over and that is why he is fielding his candidates in states like Karnataka and Gujarat where there is zero presence of his party.

Meanwhile, JD-U General Secretary K C Tyagi attributed the party defeat in Jokihat to rising petrol and diesel prices in the nation.

"People are angry over the high fuel cost and that played a big role in our candidate's defeat in Jokihat," he said.

JD-U spokesperson Sanjay Singh had a different take on the same topic.

"Araria district has a sentimental value for Muslims in the region since this seat was previously held by senior RJD leader Taslimuddin Ahmed. This is not a win for Lalu Prasad Yadav or Tejaswi Yadav so they don't need to gloat over this. Moreover, every time an NDA leader won, Tejaswi Yadav was the first one to cry foul blaming Election Commission (EC) and Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) for the loss. Will he now blame the EC and EVM for the JD-U candidate's loss?" Singh asked.

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