Congress wins crucial assembly bypoll in BJP-ruled Jharkhand

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Continuing its impressive showing from the recently concluded Bihar elections, the Congress on Thursday pulled off another victory over its arch rival the BJP by winning Jharkhand’s Lohardaga assembly by-election.

Congress candidate Sukhdeo Bhagat won the seat, defeating BJP-backed All Jharkhand Students Union’s (AJSU) candidate Niru Bhagat.

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While Congress candidate Sukhdeo Bhagat, who is also the state PCC chief, polled 73,859 votes, Niru Shanti Bhagat of AJSU, an NDA constituent, bagged 50,571 votes. Former Jharkhand Minister Bandhu Tirkey of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) finished third with 16,551 votes, election commission officials said.

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The by-poll, held on December 14, was necessitated following disqualification of AJSU leader Kamal Kishore Bhagat after he was sentenced to jail for five years in connection with an attack on a doctor in 1993.

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This victory will worry the BJP as the state is being ruled by the saffron party.

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