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Starry-eyed, 62 newcomers promise to do their best

Ranchi/Jamshedpur, Dec. 25: The state Assembly will see as many as 62 new faces, including 34 first-timers, this time and most of them are in the age group of 26 to 40.

Among the new entrants are youngest MLA Geeta Koda (26) from Jagannathpur, Amit Kumar Yadav (27) from Barkatha, Chamra Linda (39) from Bishunpur, Kamal Kishore Bhagat (40) from Lohardaga, Ramchandra Sahis (34) from Jugsalai, Banna Gupta (36) from Jamshedpur (West), K.N. Tripathi (38) from Daltonganj, Anant Pratap Deo (39) from Bhavnathpur, Sudha Chaudhary (32) from Chhatarpur, Jaiprakash Singh Bhokta (29) from Simaria, Arup Chatterjee (35) from Nirsa, Dullu Mahto (34) from Baghmara, Sita Soren (30) from Jama and Hemant Soren (33) from Dumka.

The results have shown that the state electorate opted for younger candidates over older ones. In many cases, they have defeated candidates double their age.

The electorate also reposed its faith in young sitting MLAs like Saurabh Narayan Singh (34) of Hazaribagh, Vinod Kumar Singh (39) of Bagoder and Sudesh Kumar Mahto (35) of Silli.

While some young turks are known for their oratorial skills, others are rooted to their respective turfs.

Chamra Linda, a student leader owing allegiance to Jharkhand Chhatra Sangh, was earlier instrumental in spoiling Rameshwar Oraon’s chances of becoming Lohardaga MP for the second time by eating into his vote bank during the April 2009 Lok Sabha polls. Oraon lost the Manika seat as well in the Assembly polls.

A good orator, Linda has been working in the Bishunpur area for many years and in the 2005 Assembly polls, he lost by a margin of just over 500 votes to BJP’s Chandresh Oraon, who was not given a ticket this time.

Linda said his hard work paid off, but he would continue serving his people just as he had before. “The people of the constituency voted for me as they found that candidates in the past had fooled them,” he said.

Speaking from Patamda, Sahis said he would try to set a new example by way of highlighting issues both inside and outside the Assembly. “I know the basic problems of the rural people and will try to address them,” he said, leading a victory rally in Patamda last evening.

Like Sahis, the other three first-timers from East Singhbhum — Banna Gupta, Ramdas Soren and Bidyut Baran Mahto — are equally enthusiastic.

Gupta, who managed to turned the table against veteran BJP leader Sarayu Roy in Jamshedpur (West) because of polarisation of Muslim votes, said he would “pay extra attention” to commission the Mango drinking water project.

A JMM torchbearer for long, Mahto had the last laugh in Baharagora. He defeated BJP's Dinesh Sarangi, a former health minister. “I am eagerly looking forward to serve the people. I am well acquainted with problem in this constituency.”

Soren, a JMM veteran who turned giant killer, defeating state Congress president Pradeep Balmuchu in Ghatshila, said: “People have given me a chance to serve them. They have reposed faith in my abilities. I will not disappoint them.”

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