Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda (42) on Wednesday filed his nomination papers for Kharsawan (ST) assembly by-election as official candidate of the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP).
Accompanied by the BJP State President Dineshanand Goswami and some other senior party leaders, Munda reached the sub divisional magistrate’s office at Seraikela, about 40 km from here, around 11 am this forenoon and submitted nomination papers before the returning officer (RO) Chandra Kumar Singh.
“The chief minister filed his nomination papers in two sets. He stayed in the RO’s office for around 20 minutes to complete the formalities of filing nominations. After that, Munda’s cavalcade left for the Seraikela stadium where a public meeting was organized,” the district public relations officer (DPRO), Seraikela, Nagendra Kumar Sinha told Hindustan Times.
The by election for the seat was necessitated after BJP MLA Mangal Singh Soy resigned on November 30 to pave way for the chief minister to contest from the seat.
Munda, presently a Lok Sabha member from Jamshedpur, took oath as chief minister on September 11. In view of the constitutional requirement, Munda is required to become a member of the state legislative assembly on or before March 10 this year, if he wants to retain the post of CM.
Munda has represented Kharsawan seat thrice in 1995, 2000 and 2005 and enjoys a massive support base in the constituency. In 2009, Munda got elected for the Lok Sabha from Jamshedpur seat and in his place the party fielded Mangal Singh Soy, who won the assembly polls in 2010 by a huge margin with the blessings of Munda. When Munda became chief minister in September last and was looking for a seat to enter the state assembly, Soy resigned on November 30 to pave way for his mentor.
Earlier on Tuesday, the ruling alliance of BJP-JMM-AJSU Party-JD (U) formally declared that Arjun Munda would be the joint nominee of the alliance in the by-poll, polling for which will be held on February 10.
“Arjun Munda will be joint candidate of the ruling alliance in Kharsawan assembly by-poll,” Sibu Soren said on Tuesday at a joint press conference with Arjun Munda in Ranchi, the state capital of Jharkhand.
Sudesh Mahto, the deputy chief minister in Munda Government and president of All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) Party, was also present at the Press conference.
After filing nomination, Munda straightway went to the Seraikela stadium where a cheering crowd of supporters gave him standing ovation. Munda later addressed a public meeting there.
The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief and ruling coalition’s steering committee chairperson Sibu Soren, the AJSU Party Chief and Deputy CM Sudesh Kumar Mahto, senior JD (U) leader and minister Raja Peter also addressed the public meeting and demanded votes for Munda from the electors of Kharsawan constituency. Former deputy chief minister Raghubar Das, State HRD Minister Baijnath Ram, Social Welfare Minister Ms Bimla Pradhan and Agriculture Minister Satyanand Jha ‘Batul’ also were present on the occasion of filing nomination by Munda.
As per the Election Commission’s schedule nominations for Kharsawan by-poll could be filed till January 24. Scrutiny of papers would be done on January 25, while the last date for withdrawal of nomination is January 27. Counting of votes will be held on February 17.