72.15% voting in Jharkhand bypoll

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Ranchi, April 9 IANS) Amid tight security, 72.15 per cent of the over 1.95 lakh voters exercised their franchise in Jharkhand’s Littipara assembly bypoll on Sunday, an election official said.

Pakur Deputy Commissioner-cum-Returning Officer Muthu Kumar said the polling began at 7 a.m. amid tight security.

Ten candidates are in the fray for the seat, the contest for which has become a prestige issue for both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).

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

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das campaigned for five days for party candidate — former JMM strongman and former Cabinet Minister Hemlal Murmu — to turn the tide in the latter’s favour.

The JMM once again backed its warhorse Simon Marandi.

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

Counting of votes will be taken up on April 13.

–IANS

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