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70% turnout in by-poll to decide Munda's fate

IANS  Ranchi, February 10, 2011
First Published: 18:59 IST(10/2/2011) | Last Updated: 19:01 IST(10/2/2011)

About 70% polling took place in Jharkhand's Kharsawa assembly by-election that will decide whether chief minister Arjun Munda will remain in the post or not.

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"About 70% polling took place. The by-poll was by and large peaceful," Anjani Kumar Mishra, Jharkhand's additional chief electoral officer, told IANS.

Polling began at 7am and ended at 3pm.

Around 12 companies of the state and paramilitary forces were deployed. Helicopters were also being used for surveillance.

Seven candidates were in the fray and their fate is being decided by 1.54 lakh voters. The vote count will take place on February 17.

The main contest is between Arjun Munda and Krishna Gagarai of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P), who is the common opposition candidate.

Munda needs to win the election and become a member of the state assembly to fulfil a constitutional necessity as the six-month period since his swearing-in as chief minister in September is about to end.

Munda won from Kharsawa in 1995 on the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) ticket. He joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) just before the 2000 assembly elections. He won the seat in 2000 and 2005 on BJP ticket.

In 2009, BJP's Mangal Singh Soy won the seat. He resigned last year to facilitate Munda's election to the assembly.


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