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Meet a pack of queer campaigners

Ranchi, April 13: Among other campaigners, they sure stand out .

Meet some of the Independent candidates. While Lal Baba Mashani (65) begins his day’s campaign after making a routine visit to the crematorium, Janardan Tiwari (43) rides around the city in an autorickshaw to propagate his views. Roshan Lal Mahto (28) rides a bicycle and is now looking for a bullock cart. But some like to relax after a day’s hard work. And the best way is — getting a massage. Md Safuddin (44), a BSP candidate, ensures that he gets a massage before retiring at night.

Lal Baba, a resident of Abdul Bari Park slum strip at Kutchery, is one among 26 contestants running for the Ranchi Lok Sabha seat. Dressed in his red attire, Baba, starts his day at his auspicious cemented platform in front of the deputy commissioner’s office at 10am and visits the crematorium everyday for Tantrik Sidhhi. “Jan kalyan ki ichcha se maine chunav ladne ka nirnaya liya (I decided to contest the election for public welfare,” said Baba, whose election symbol is “sliced bread”.

Though he has no regular income, he has spent Rs 30,000 on his election campaign. He has advertised on an autorickshaw and has also released a one-page election manifesto with 11 promises, including smooth distributing old age pension and self-employment for those over 36 years.

Another rickshaw fan is the ambitious Tiwari who chooses this medium to connect with the people. “I want people to elect me so that I can become the railway minister and do good to them,” he said Tiwari, while electioneering.

Ms Sarfuddin, the BSP candidate taking on Congress candidate and Union minister Subodh Kant Sahay is letting his followers do the work. “But I like to take a light massage after the day’s hard campaigning. I am confident of my win,” said Sarfuddin.

Roshan Lal Mahto (28), a resident of Kedal in Ranchi, however, never gets tired. He campaigns on his bicycle and at times, even on a tractor. Though he would like to engage a bullock cart for the job, he is yet to find one. “I want to adopt unconventional means for the campaign. This is why I am looking for an oxen-driven cart,” said Mahto. Any takers?

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