Ranchi — Former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi Thursday won the Koderma Lok Sabha by-election, the seat he vacated when he left the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in June, with a thumping majority of 194,000 votes.
Marandi, who contested as an independent, polled 328,828 votes while the Congress’s Manoj Yadav got 131,731 votes. The BJP’s Pranav Verma stood third with 105,819 votes.
A triumphant Marandi told reporters that the election, which was held on Nov 3, was an answer to the prevailing corruption in the state.
Taking a dig at the BJP, he said: “The election has proved that no dedicated worker can stay in the party.”
Though the result is along expected lines, it is being seen as a great setback to both the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA). Both alliances had worked to win the election, but the massive defeat margin shows that it just did not work.
For the BJP particularly, Marandi’s victory underscores the dissent in the party. In a terse reaction, state BJP president Yadunath Pandey said: “We respect the people’s mandate.”