Ranchi, Jan 8 (IANS) Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren was Thursday trailing behind his Jharkhand Party rival in the Tamara assembly by-election, crucial for him as he is yet to get elected to the state legislature.
After seven rounds of counting, Soren was lagging more than 3,500 votes behind Jharkhand Party candidate Raja Peter. A total 18 rounds of counting will take place.
The constituency has 158,000 voters, who chose between 15 candidates in the fray. The polling took place on Jan 5 amid tight security.
The seat fell vacant after former minister and Janata Dal-United (JD-U) legislator Ramesh Singh Munda was killed by the rebels July last year.
The contest is pivotal for Soren as he has to get elected to the state assembly before Feb 27 to fulfil the constitutional obligation of becoming a member of the state legislature within six months of assuming office. He had taken over as chief minister Aug 27 last year.