Ranchi, April 13 IANS) The opposition Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) on Thursday retained the Littipara assembly seat with its candidate Simon Marandi defeating his BJP rival Hemlal Murmu by 12,900 votes in the April 9 bypoll.
The JMM candidate got 65,551 votes while Murmu managed 52,651 votes. In 2014, the JMM won the seat by over 10,000 votes.
The seat fell vacant after JMM legislator Anil Murmu died following a heart attack in January 2017.
More than 72 per cent polling was recorded in the bypoll for the seat, where 10 candidates were in the fray.
The bypoll turned out to be an issue of prestige for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and opposition JMM as the former tried to wrest the seat that the JMM has held for the last 40 years.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das campaigned in the assembly segment to boost the chances of his party candidate.
“The bypoll result is a referendum on the state government move to amend the Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act and the Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act. People have expressed their feelings by ensuring the BJP defeat. The amendment to the two land laws is against the wishes of the state’s people,” JMM General Secretary Suprio Bhattacharya said.