JVM wrests Jamshedpur, state BJP chief resigns

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party suffered a major setback in the Jamshedpur Lok Sabha byelection, with its archrival Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) wresting the seat. The result of the byelection held on July 1 was declared on Monday. JVM candidate Ajay Kumar defeated his nearest rival, Dineshanand Goswami of BJP, by a margin of over 1.55 lakh votes.

Late at night, Goswami resigned from the post of state party chief.

The Jamshedpur seat fell vacant after BJP leader Arjun Munda, who had won it by defeating JMM's Suman Mahato by over 1.19 lakh votes in the 2009 general elections, quit it to become the Chief Minister.

Mahato had since quit JMM and was in the fray as a Trinamool Congress candidate this time. Other candidates contesting the bypoll were Congress's Banna Gupta, JMM's Sudhir Mahato and All Jharkhand Students Union's Astik Mahato. There were 20 candidates in the fray in all. Barring Kumar, all 19 lost their security deposit.

Kumar, a former IPS officer of 1986 batch, maintained lead over his rivals in both urban and rural areas of the constituency. Kumar had served as the superintendent of police in Jamshedpur during 1994-96 and left the police service to work for Tata Steel as a senior executive.

JVM's strength in the Lok Sabha now goes up to two, with party president Babulal Marandi already in representing the state in Parliament.

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