Jharkhand assembly by-polls: JMM, Congress retain seats with reduced margin

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(Eds: Updating with details) Ranchi, Nov 10 (PTI) The JMM-led ruling coalition of Jharkhand retained Dumka and Bermo assembly seats in by- elections defeating the BJP, albeit with drastically reduced margins from that of the 2019 state polls.

JMM candidate Basant Soren, who is the younger brother of Chief Minister Hemant Soren, defeated his nearest BJP rival Lois Marandi, a former minister, by 6,842 votes, in Dumka seat, the Election Commission said while declaring the by-poll results on Tuesday.

The winning margin of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha reduced almost by half compared to what it was in last year's assembly election.

In Bermo constituency, Kumar Jayamangal alias Anup Singh of the Congress defeated Yogeshwar Mahto 'Batul', his nearest BJP rival, by a margin of 14,225 votes.

Here also, the winning margin reduced by several thousands of votes.

In Dumka and Bermo seats, 12 and 16 candidates were in the fray respectively. Barring the nominees of the JMM, Congress and the BJP, all other contestants lost their deposits in the two constituencies.

In the assembly elections held late last year, Hemant Soren won from two seats - Dumka and Barhait. He resigned from Dumka and retained Barhait, necessitating the by-poll.

He had then defeated Marandi by 13,188 votes and this time, his brother managed to win with a margin of 6,842 votes.

Basant Soren polled 80,559 votes while Marandi secured 73,717 votes.

The by-poll in Bermo followed the death of sitting Congress MLA Rajendra Singh and the party fielded his son Anup Singh in the seat. The BJP renominated Yogeshwar Mahto who had won from the constituency in 2014 assembly polls but lost in 2019.

The Congress had won the seat with a margin of 25,172 votes last year and it reduced to 14,225 votes this time.

The Congress nominee got 94,022 votes while Mahto bagged 79,797 votes.

During counting, the Congress nominee was leading from the very beginning in Bermo. However, in Dumka, the chief minister's brother was trailing till the 11th round, but started winning from the 12th and finally emerged victorious.

State Joint Chief Electoral Officer Hiralal Mandal said that COVID-19 safety protocols were strictly followed during counting. PTI IKD NN NN