Jharkhand bypolls: JMM Simon Marandi wins in Littipara

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha’s (JMM) Simon Marandi inched towards a comfortable win on Thursday, leaving rivals behind with 9227 votes after 17 rounds of ballot counting in Jharkhand’s Littipara assembly seat.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2017 17:53 IST
Gautam Mazumdar
Gautam Mazumdar
Hindustan Times
Jharkhand Mukti morcha,Jharkhand,Littipara
Prime minister Narendra Modi during a road show in Varanasi on March 4, 2017. BJP registered a comprehensive victory in the UP assembly elections. (Arun Sharma/HT Photo)

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha’s (JMM) Simon Marandi registered a comfortable win on Thursday, leaving rivals behind by 12,900 votes in Jharkhand’s Littipara assembly seat.

Marandi, the five-time legislator from the seat, established a comfortable lead of 7,405 votes after the 16th round of counting. He bagged 53,006 votes till the 16th of the 20 rounds of counting, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s Hemlal Murmu 45,601 and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) nominee Kisto Soren got 7,345 votes.

The margin was reduced after the 13th and 14th round of counting when the electronic voting machines from Amrapara block were opened.

There were 10 candidates, including 7 independents in fray. Marandi, Murmu, Soren (JVM-P), Shivcharan Malto, Gayalal Dehri, Harischandra Baski, Gupin Soren, Jyotish Baski, Srilal Kisku and J Soren (independents).

“The party workers are jubilant. The celebration will begin at 5pm in Albert Ekka chowk of the state capital and outside the counting centre in Littipara,” JMM spokesperson Vinod Pandey said.

While the JMM is on way to re-establish its might in Santhal Pargana, Marandi put the lens why he and his family are important and have been ruling the constituency for four decades. Marandi lost the election from Littipara only in the 2014 general election when he contested the seat on a BJP ticket. He rejoined the JMM recently.

“It’s defeat of BJP’s wrong policies,” president of Congress’s Jharkhand unit Sukhdeo Bhagat said.

For Murmu, it will be the third consecutive loss if the JMM romps home. He lost the Lok Sabha election from Rajmahal seat in the 2014 general election. Soon after, he was defeated by former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren in Barhet in the last assembly election. He too was a JMM legislator from Barhet until the 2014 election.

The BJP fired on all cylinders and launched all state ministers from Santhal Parganas during the election campaign. Chief minister Raghubar Das had campaigned more than a dozen of meetings in Littipara assembly segment for six days.

JMM chief Sibu Soren and his son Hemant, party’s working president, were the star campaigners for Marandi.

The seat fell vacant after JMM legislator Anil Murmu died in January.

By-elections were held in 10 assembly constituencies in 8 states on Sunday. Two seats each are in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh and one each in West Bengal, Assam, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Delhi.

The BJP won the bypolls in Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Rajasthan as results poured in for the seats where elections were held recently.

First Published: Apr 13, 2017 17:11 IST