Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda will file his nomination papers for Kharsawan (ST) assembly by-election on January 19. Munda will file his papers as official nominee of BJP, backed by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
While confirming formally Munda's candidature for Kharsawan seat on Monday, the BJP state president Dineshanand Goswami said that the chief minister, several ministers of his cabinet and other senior leaders of BJP and allies- Janta Dal (U) and the AJSU Party- would reach Seraikela on January 19 and file nomination before the sub divisional officer (SDO), Seraikela, who has been notified as returning officer. Nomination papers would be filed around 11 am, Goswami said.
However, no nomination for Kharsawan seat, polling for which would be held on February 10, was filed on Monday (today), the first day of notification. "No candidate turned-up today to file nomination, though the returning officer remained in his office throughout the official hours to receive papers," the district public relations officer (DPRO), Seraikela, Nagendra Kumar Sinha told Hindustan Times.
Earlier in the day, election commission issued a formal notification for Kharsawan bypoll, announcing beginning of nomination process from Monday.
The DPRO said, as per the Commission's schedule nominations 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.
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.
The AJSU Party led-by Deputy CM Sudesh Kumar Mahto, one of the alliance partners of Munda-led government in the state, has already announced to support him in the by-election. However, the other important ally- the Sibu Soren-led Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has kept its card close on the matter.