68% voter turnout marks Jharkhand by-poll

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Ranchi, April 9 (IANS) Around 68 per cent polling took place in Jharkhand’s Littipara assembly by-poll on Sunday, an election official said.

The polling began at 7 a.m. amid tight security arrangements. Forces in large numbers and mobile units were deployed at polling centres.

A total of 10 candidates are are in fray, whose fate will be decided by 1,95,150 voters.

The by-poll to the Littipara seat has turned out to be an issue of prestige for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) in the state.

The BJP is trying to capture a seat that the JMM has held for the last 40 years.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das himself campaigned for five days for the party candidate in the by-poll.

The BJP has fielded former JMM strongman and former cabinet minister Hemlal Murmu. The JMM has once again backed its old warrior Simon Marandi.

The seat fell vacant after JMM legislator Anil Murmu died following a heart attack in January this year.

–IANS

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