*Ratan Lal's picture shows Late Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MLA Anil Murmu's wife Uriti Hansda joining the ruling BJP and announcing to support its candidate -two-time ex JMM MP,Hemlal Murmu in Littipara.

Littipara Assembly by poll has taken a turn with late Jharkhand Mukti Morcha MLA Anil Murmu's wife Uriti Hansda joined the ruling BJP and announced to support its candidate -veteran tribal leader and two-time JMM MP,Hemlal Murmu.

Murmu, who faced two consecutive defeats since joining the BJP a month before the 2014 general elections, would be the BJP candidate for the Littipara bye-poll.Apart from Uriti,scores of her supporters joined the BJP in Littipara. 

Earlier,at least eight candidates bought nomination papers on Monday. Former Littipara MLA Simon Marandi, deceased Littipara legislator’s widow Uriti, former Congress leader Shivcharan Malto and BJP’s Murmu were among the eight who bought the nomination papers on the second last day of filing nomination. 

Murmu, who served the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) for over a decade, was said to be second only to JMM supremo Sibu Soren in terms of popularity in the Santhal Pargana region of Jharkhand, while he was associated with it. 

The JMM, however, has backed the four-time Barhait MLA and former Minister for the third time since 2014 and is hopeful of retaining the Littipara Assembly seat. 

“It is confirmed that Murmuji will contest the bye-poll. Our objective would be to make the voters understand the benefits of having a legislator from the party, which rules in the state as well as at the Centre,” said Pratul Shahdeo, spokesperson, BJP Jharkhand. 

Besides, the party will also try and cash-in on the various state and Central welfare schemes launched since 2014, he said. 

Meanwhile, Simon Marandi had lost the Littipara seat on a BJP ticket in 2014. He and Congress’s Shivcharan Malto may contest the seat as independent candidates. 

The scheduled tribe (ST) reserved seat went vacant after the death of JMM legislator Dr. Anil Murmu in January this year. 

With entry of Uriti and her supporters,BJP's Hemlal Murmu hopes to grab the seat.Voting will take place on April 9 with counting on April 13.


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