Dumri by election: High octane campaigning ends - Hindustan Times
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Dumri by election: High octane campaigning ends

By, Ranchi
Sep 03, 2023 09:29 PM IST

The campaign for the Dumri assembly by election on September 5 concluded on Sunday, with supporters of the main contenders, INDIA candidate and minister Bebi Devi and AJSU Party’s Yashoda Devi, making a final push.

The campaign for the Dumri assembly by election on September 5 concluded on Sunday, with supporters of the main contenders, INDIA candidate and minister Bebi Devi and AJSU Party’s Yashoda Devi, making a final push.

Chief minister Hemant Soren led a roadshow in Dumri to mobilise voters for INDIA candidate Bebi Devi (HT Photo)
Chief minister Hemant Soren led a roadshow in Dumri to mobilise voters for INDIA candidate Bebi Devi (HT Photo)

Chief minister Hemant Soren, with his cabinet colleagues, including Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Bebi Devi, led a roadshow in Dumri to mobilise voters. AJSU Party chief Sudesh Mahto chose to conduct a ‘padayatra’ and a ‘Jan Sabha’ in the Nawadih area to mark the end of the campaign.

The by-election was necessitated by the death of former education minister Jagarnath Mahto on April 9. Mahto’s wife, Bebi Devi, was inducted into the cabinet last month and given the responsibility of excise and liquor prohibition. AJSU Party fielded Yashoda Devi, who came second in the 2019 assembly polls, as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate.

While the seat is poised for a direct contest between INDIA and the NDA, AIMIM’s Abdul Momin Rizvi has made significant efforts to turn it into a triangular contest. Rizvi had secured over 24,000 votes and obtained the fourth position in the 2019 assembly polls.

With the by-election likely to set the tone for Lok Sabha and Jharkhand assembly elections next year, both sides have made every effort to secure victory.

While CM Soren remained the star campaigner for Bebi Devi, holding four major rallies starting from the nomination day, leaders of the AJSU Party focused more on small rallies and corner meetings.

AJSU was strongly supported by the ally BJP, led by state president Babulal Marandi, who fielded three former chief ministers and a union minister, as well as parliamentarians and legislators during the campaign. Its leaders addressed several booth committee meetings to energize voters. JMM was also supported by its allies Congress and RJD, whose leaders, including ministers and legislators, joined the campaign to seek votes for Bebi Devi.

As the campaign concluded, both sides claimed victory for their candidates. AJSU Party chief Sudesh Mahto, speaking to reporters during his padayatra, said, “The support our candidate is receiving suggests that the people of Dumri are contesting the election. This election will deliver a historic mandate.”

Addressing a press conference in Ranchi, JMM spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya said that the people of Dumri have rejected the NDA candidate. He added, “There was a situation where they could not even campaign properly. Jagarnath Da (Mahto) represented Dumri for the past 18 years. Due to his progressive work in the constituency, he would emerge victorious.”

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