The BJP and the Congress retained their seats in Godda and Panki (Palamu), respectively, in the bypolls held in these constituencies on May 16.
BJP’s Amit Mandal, son of Raghunandan Mandal, who was the sitting Party MLA from Godda, won by a margin of 34,551 votes, defeating Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) candidate Sanjay Yadav. Mandal polled 83,987 votes, while Yadav garnered 49,436 votes. Yadav was supported by Congress, Janata Dal (United), Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) and Left Parties.
Former Odisha director general of police Sanjeev Marik, the candidate for Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) poled 18,337 votes.
In Panki, Congress candidate Devendra Singh won the seat by a margin of 3,558, polling a total of 56,343 votes. He defeated JMM’s Shashi Bhushan Mehta, who polled 52,785 votes. BJP’s Lal Suraj was at the third position polling 36,028 votes.
Devendra’s father Bidesh Singh was the sitting Congress MLA from Panki.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das congratulated the Party workers and leaders saying the winning margin in Godda was higher than last time and so was the total number of votes polled.
“We never used to contest Panki. Considering this, we have done well. We will increase our presence there,” said a BJP spokesperson.
Congress blamed the Godda loss on ‘sympathy wave’ for BJP’s candidate. “In Panki, the BJP’s candidate is at the third position. This shows that the work of the government has not had any effect on the people. They won in Godda because of sympathy,” said Rajiv Thakur, state Congress spokesperson.
The JMM too attributed their performance to sympathy. “We came pretty close in Panki. In Godda, there was a wave of sympathy for the BJP candidate. We will examine what more could have been done to win the seat,” said JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya.
The bypolls were necessitated following deaths of Raghunandan Mandal and Bidesh Singh earlier this year.