Bihar Assembly Polls: Two Brothers Fighting it Out in Jokihat, the One on RJD Ticket Booked for Violating MCC

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The RJD candidate from Jokihat assembly segment Sarfaraz Alam, who seeks to wrest the seat from his own brother now contesting on an AIMIM ticket, has ended up being booked for violating model code of conduct, a senior official said on Saturday. Instructions were issued to lodge an FIR against Alam after he was spotted at a polling station wearing a badge denoting lantern, the RJD's poll symbol, said District Magistrate Prashant Kumar.

However, Alam claimed it was an "oversight" and that he would "fully cooperate with any legal proceedings" that may arise out of the incident. Alam is the son of late Mohd Taslimuddin, a former Union minister and a controversial figure who enjoyed tremendous following in the Kosi Seemanchal region of Bihar, which had earned him the epithet "Seemanchal Gandhi".

He had represented Jokihat, a seat formerly represented by his father, four times, twice on the RJD's ticket and as many times for the JD(U). In a by-election held two years ago following the death of Taslimuddin who was the sitting RJD MP from Araria, Alam vacated his seat and quit the JD(U), returning to Lalu Prasads party and retaining the Lok Sabha constituency on its ticket.

His younger brother Shahnawaz Alam wrested Jokihat from the JD(U), contesting on an RJD ticket, in the ensuing by- election held a few months later. Alam lost Araria to BJP's Pradeep Singh in the general elections last year but the RJD retained its trust in him and named him as its candidate for the assembly elections.

The younger brother, who was the sitting MLA, revolted and joined AIMIM headed by Asaduddin Owaisi, seen by the RJD as an irritant because of his potential to cut into Muslim votes. Owaisi's party fielded him from the seat on its ticket.

Nonetheless, the electorate in Jokihat feel that blood would prove to be thicker than water and votes will be transferred in favour of whoever, among the two brothers, stood a better chance of winning since victory of the BJP is dreaded the most by people of the Muslim-dominated constituency. Altogether nine candidates are in the fray from Jokihat where votes are being cast in the third and final phase of assembly elections.

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