Jharkhand bypolls: BJP suffers big jolt, JMM retains both seats
Jharkhand bypolls: BJP suffers big jolt, JMM retains both seatsJaideep Deogharia | TNN | Updated: May 31, 2018, 17:13 ISTSeema Mahto (L) and Babita Devi flash victory sign (PTI Photo)RANCHI: The ruling BJP-AJSU coalition in Jharkhand suffered a big jolt in the Silli and Gomia bypoll results, which were declared from the counting centres at Ranchi and Bokaro respectively. The united opposition proved its strength by winning both the seats. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha was the only outfit from the non-BJP camp to have fielded its candidates and managed to retain both of them.
On Silli seat, Seema Mahto, wife of outgoing JMM MLA Amit Mahto, defeated her nearest rival and party president of AJSU, Sudesh Mahto, by a substantial margin of 13,508 votes. The bypolls were necessitated after Amit lost his membership to the legislative assembly, being convicted by court for two years in a case of beating government official. Though AJSU managed to reduce the margin of defeat in comparison to 2014 general elections, it failed to win back the seat where Sudesh had registered victory in previous three consecutive elections.
Almost in a similar manner, JMM's Babita Devi also retained the Gomia seat that was vacated by her husband Yogendra Prasad who also lost membership after being convicted for three years in a case of coal theft. Here BJP and AJSU alliance failed. Both had fielded their candidates. AJSU party candidate Lambodar Mahto, who entered the electoral fray for the first time finished second and lost by a narrow margin on 1,355 votes.
Enthused over the election results leade r of opposition in Jharkhand assembly Hemant Soren sought resignation of chief minister Raghubar Das on moral grounds. "It is not just a defeat of the candidates of ruling alliance but people have given a message that they no longer have confidence in the government," he said.
This was the third consecutive win for JMM in bypolls the first being Littipara where also JMM candidate had bagged the seat almost six months ago. JMM leaders indicated that since the united opposition has performed well they will contest the 2019 general assembly polls in alliance and keep the BJP at bay.
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