As many as nine candidates will try their luck to win from the Jokihat constituency of Bihar which is set to go to polls on November 7 along with 77 others in the third and final phase of assembly elections in the state.
Jokihat assembly, which is popularly referred to as the seat of Md Taslimuddin, has been represented by his family nine times since 1967. Late Md Taslimuddin, also known as Seemanchal Gandhi, was first elected as an MLA from the Jokihat seat in 1969 on a Congress ticket. He, however, later quit the party. He won the seat again in 1972, 1977, 1985 and 1995 on the Janta Party, Janta Dal and Rashtriya Janata Dal ticket respectively. In 1996, he resigned as the Jokihat MLA and went on to win the Kishanganj Lok Sabha seat on RJD ticket. In the by-polls that were conducted in 1996, Taslimuddin’s eldest son Md Sarfaraz Alam won the seat.
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At present, the Jokihat Assembly constituency which is located in the Araria district of Bihar, is represented by late Taslimuddin’s youngest son Shahnawaz, who won the seat as an RJD candidate in 2018 by-polls. He, however, has been fielded by the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) party this time.
In the 2015 assembly polls, Taslimuddin’s eldest son Md Sarfaraz Alam emerged victorious in Jokihat as a JD(U) candidate by defeating Independent candidate Ranjeet Yadav by a margin of 53,980 votes. In 2018, Sarfaraz quit the party and went on to win the Araria Lok sabha seat on a ticket. As by-polls were conducted, Shahnawaz Alam defeated JD(U’s) Murshid Alam by 41,000 votes.
This time the constituency will witness a fierce battle between the two brothers who are contesting from two different parties – Sarfaraz Alam from RJD and Shahnawaz Alam from AIMIM.
Apart from Taslimuddin’s sons, other candidates in the poll fray are Mohd Mobinul Haque of Nationalist Congress Party, Ranjit Yadav of BJP, Afaque Anwar of Rashtriya Secular Majlis Party, Manawwar Ali of Janta Dal Rashtravadi, Ram Ratan Yadav of Angika Samaj Party, Md Shabbir Ahmad of Social Democratic Party of India And independent candidate Saba Perween.
As many as 293,308 electorates will decide the future of Taslimuddin’s lineage in Bihar’s Jokihat constituency. In 2015, the assembly constituency had witnessed a voter turnout of 61%.
The third and final phase of Bihar assembly elections will be conducted on November 7 while the first and second phases of voting took place on October 28 and November 3. The results of the first electoral exercise during the Covid-19 pandemic will be declared on November 10.
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