67 percent polling in Jharkhand assembly bypoll

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Around 67 percent of 2.20 lakh electorate on Monday voted in the Lohardaga assembly by-election in Jharkhand to fill up a seat that fell vacant after the AJSU legislator was jailed.

The polling, in an area where Maoists wield influence, was peaceful, officials said. The polling began at 7 a.m. and ended at 3 p.m.

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There were nine candidates and 272 polling stations.

The three main contestants were Niru Bhagat of the All Jharkhand Students Union, who is backed by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Sukhdeo Bhagat of the Congress and Bandhu Tirkey of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P).

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The seat fell vacant after AJSU legislator Kamla Kishore Bhagat was handed a seven-year jail term in July in an extortion case. Niru Bhagat is his wife.

The election is seen as a litmus test for the BJP. The seat is reserved for tribals.

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