The ruling National Democratic Alliance in Jharkhand on Monday suffered a setback after the nominee of former chief minister Babulal Marandi’s JVM-P romped home in the by-poll to the Jamshedpur Lok Sabha seat.
Jharkhand Vikash Morcha (P) candidate and former IPS officer Ajay Kumar defeated his nearest rival and state BJP president Dineshanand Goswami by a record margin of 1,55,726 votes.
Sudhir Mahto, the JMM candidate and a former deputy chief minister, finished third with 1,14,575 votes and AJSU Party’s Aastik Mahto got 98,472 votes.
Congress candidate Banna Gupta polled 48,956 votes.
“Had all the three coalition partners fought the election with a consensus candidate it would have been a different story,” Mr. Goswami said.
Ruling out his resignation as state chief of BJP, he said he would request the Election Commission to look into the ’high percentage’ in the rural areas compared to urban localities.
The by-poll was necessitated after Chief Minister Arjun Munda, who won the seat by 1.20 lakh votes in the last general elections, vacated it after he was elected to the state assembly from his home constituency Kharswan in Saraikela-Kharswan district in February.