The Jokihat bypoll defeat has come as a jolt to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who dumped RJD and Congress last year to join hands with BJP.
Jokihat: The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) led by Tejashwi Yadav crushed Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United (JDU) by seizing the Jokihat assembly seat on Thursday.
At the end of 13 rounds of counting, JD(U) candidate Murshid Alam trailed behind by 13,000 votes and eventually lost to RJD candidate Shahnawaz Alam, EC sources said.
While Shahnawaz Alam of RJD got 35,435 votes, Murshid Alam of JD(U) polled at only 23,256 votes.
The Jokihat bypoll defeat has come as a jolt to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar who dumped RJD and Congress last year to join hands with BJP to form a new coalition government in Bihar.
A confident Tejashwi Yadav, while speaking to reporters after the Jokihat victory, said, "The number of votes JDU got is less than our victory margin. People of Bihar are continuing to avenge the U-turn taken by Nitish Kumar."
Yadav further said, "My chacha (uncle) Nitish Kumar used money and might but couldn't retain his seat. This is the victory of Laluvaad (Lalu's ideology) over avsarvaad (opportunism)."
Yadav junior also added that Nitish Kumar lost despite using government machinery.
"Nitish Kumar was never able to understand Laluji, my father," he said.
The by-election was held after JD(U) MLA Sarfaraz Alam quit the party in 2017 and got elected on an RJD ticket to the Lok Sabha from Araria, a seat held by his late father Mohammad Taslimuddin. He then contested from the Araria Lok Sabha seat in March and won.
The RJD had fielded his younger brother Shahnawaz Alam from the Jokihat seat. There were nine candidates in the fray.
(With agency inputs)