Campaign for Madhupur by-election ends, over 3.22 lakh to vote on April 17

Jharkhand: For voters, unemployment and increase in crime rate have been the major issues. However, religious issues ruled the election mostly.
Deoghar: Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) candidate Hafizul Hussain during his campaign Madhupur Assembly by-polls, in Deoghar district, on Thursday, April 15, 2021. (PTI)
Deoghar: Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) candidate Hafizul Hussain during his campaign Madhupur Assembly by-polls, in Deoghar district, on Thursday, April 15, 2021. (PTI)
Published on Apr 16, 2021 11:42 AM IST
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Political parties and candidates made a last-ditch effort to garner people’s support, as campaigning for Madhupur by-election ended on Thursday evening.

Even though Madhupur assembly constituency in Santhal Paragana division has traditionally witnessed a direct electoral battle between the JMM and the BJP, four independent candidates are also leaving no stone unturned to score in the by-poll.

More than 3.22 lakh electors from the constituency are expected to exercise their franchise on Saturday. A total of 487 polling stations will be in operation on the polling day under heavy deployment of security.

State chief electoral officer (CEO) K Ravi Kumar said, “Campaign came to an end at 6 am on Thursday.

Polling will be held on Saturday from 7am till 6pm.”

As many as six candidates, including Ganga Narayan Singh from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Hafizul Hasan from the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Ashok Kumar Thakur (independent), Uttam Kumar Yadav (Independent), Kisan Kumar Bathwal (Independent) and Rajendra Kumar (Independent), are in the poll fray to try their lucks.

The Madhupur seat went vacant after demise of the Jharkhand minority welfare minister Haji Hussain Ansari. The serving minister and a four-term legislator from Madhupur in Santhal Pargana division of the state died of heart attack on October 3, a day after recovering from Covid-19 at a private hospital.

In a sudden move, chief minister Hemant Soren inducted Ansari’s son, Hafizul Hasan, who is not yet a member of the Jharkhand legislative assembly, as the 10th member of his cabinet. He filed his nomination as JMM candidate for Madhupur by-election. As per the constitutional provisions, a person becomes a member of the assembly within six months of becoming a minister.

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has put all its effort to ensure win of its candidate. The chief minister himself campaigned for Hasan from April 9 in Madhupur till April 15.

“We are hopeful of winning the by-election easily,” the chief minister said.

Meanwhile, the BJP has put its confidence in Ganga Narayan Singh, who switched from AJSU party for the seat. “People have made up their minds to make the BJP candidate win this time from Madhupur,” said Koderma parliamentarian Annapurna Devi, who has also been campaigning for the party candidate.

For voters, unemployment and growing crime have been the major issue.

However, religious issues ruled the election campaign mostly, as the constituency has around 30% Muslim population. Both the JMM and the BJP promised for tribal development in the constituency keeping in mind around 15% tribal population.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sanjoy Dey is principal correspondent in Jharkhand and writes on government, urban development, forest and environment, tourism, rural development and agriculture. He likes to write human interest stories.

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