Around sixty five per cent voting was recorded in Godda and Panki assembly constituencies where bypolls were held on Monday. The polling passed off peacefully.
The bypolls became necessary following deaths of Raghunandan Mandal, sitting BJP MLA in Godda, in January and Bidesh Singh, sitting Congress MLA in Panki – which is in Palamu district – in March this year.
“A consolidated figure is being prepared. The polling passed off peacefully without any disturbance anywhere,” said Arvind Kumar, District Electoral Officer (Godda).
In Panki, around 64 per cent voters cast their votes. District Election Cell’s Media incharge, Sanjeev Kujur, said: “The polling remained peaceful and people came out in good numbers. Around 64 per cent votes were cast.”
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There were a total of 2.49 lakh registered voters in the constituency. Being a naxal-affected area, the number of sensitive booths in Panki was as high as 224 out of 284.
There were reports about BJP candidate Lal Suraj getting involved in a fracas with Jharkhand Mukti Morcha supporters at booth No. 118 in the constituency.
However, Deputy Superintendent of Police Prabhat Ranjan Barwar, who reached the spot, said that there was some confusion over a couple of people being stopped from voting as they did not have any valid ID card. “There was no fracas at all,” he said.
The contest in both the constituencies is expected to be triangular.
Godda’s BJP candidate Amit Mandal is son of the departed MLA and a political greenhorn. He was pitted against former Odisha Director General of Police Sanjeev Marik, the nominee of JMM. Rashtriya Janata Dal’s Sanjay Yadav was the third main candidate, supported by Congress, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik), Janata Dal-United and Left Parties.
In Panki, the BJP had given the ticket to Lal Suraj, who had recently joined from JMM. In turn, JMM had given the ticket to Shashi Bhushan Mehta, after he recently joined the party with Marik. Congress had given ticket to Bidesh Singh’s son Devender Singh. The candidate was supported by RJD and JD-U. The Left parties supported a candidate of CPI-ML.