Dumri by-election: JMM retains seat, wins by over 17k votes - Hindustan Times
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Dumri by-election: JMM retains seat, wins by over 17k votes

By, Ranchi
Sep 08, 2023 09:57 PM IST

Bebi Devi, a joint candidate of the ruling INDIA alliance, engaged in a direct battle with Yashoda Devi, a candidate backed by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).She secured 100,317 votes, while Yashoda Devi received 83,614 votes.

In a significant boost for the ruling alliance in Jharkhand ahead of the Lok Sabha and assembly elections in 2024, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader and cabinet minister Bebi Devi emerged victorious in the Dumri assembly by-election on Friday, defeating her closest rival, Yashoda Devi of the AJSU Party, by a margin of 17,513 votes.

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader and cabinet minister Bebi Devi emerged victorious in the Dumri assembly by-election (PTI)
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader and cabinet minister Bebi Devi emerged victorious in the Dumri assembly by-election (PTI)

Excise minister Bebi Devi, the wife of late JMM leader and former education minister Jagarnath Mahto, whose death necessitated the by-election, continued the party’s winning streak in Dumri.

Mahto had consecutively held the seat for four terms since 2004. He passed away on April 9 this year while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Chennai. Bebi Devi was inducted into the Hemant cabinet on July 3.

Bebi Devi, a joint candidate of the ruling INDIA alliance, engaged in a direct battle with Yashoda Devi, a candidate backed by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).She secured 100,317 votes, while Yashoda Devi received 83,614 votes.

Although AIMIM candidate Abdul Rizvi attempted to make the contest triangular, voters rejected the “Owaisi factor” in the by-election.

Rizvi, who had garnered over 24,000 votes on the AIMIM ticket in 2019, could only muster 3,472 votes this time, while NOTA received 3,650 votes, surpassing AIMIM.

JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya expressed gratitude to INDIA front members for their support and described the mandate as an endorsement of the Hemant Soren government’s governance.

He said, “One of our ministers was in the fray, so the people have endorsed the governance model of the Hemant government. Dumri has shown what lies ahead in 2014. INDIA will win all 14 Lok Sabha seats next year.”

After her victory, Bebi Devi addressed reporters and thanked the people of Dumri for their support. She added, “I will complete all the work that my husband had envisioned.”

Addressing an event in West Singhbhum, chief minister Soren criticised the NDA allies, stating that their political strength had diminished.

“Their political strength has become negligible. They are using agencies to target us. They accuse us of corruption. They began attempting to topple my government shortly after we came to power. But don’t worry, by the time they put me in jail, I will make you so strong that you (the people) will give them a strong reply,” said Soren.

However, the opposition BJP argued that the JMM victory was due to the “misuse of state machinery” and the “polarization of minority votes”. Former chief minister and Jharkhand BJP president Babulal Marandi, who led the NDA campaign, said, “We may have lost the election, but we have not lost political ground. I thank my workers for their hard work, which increased our vote share compared to 2019. The entire state machinery was used to intimidate voters. NDA workers were kidnapped, and their offices were raided. Money was spent lavishly, but still, the people have expressed their intent. The NDA will continue to expose this government and will not rest until we remove them from power.” Marandi is currently on a statewide Sankalp Yatra.

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