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16 voluntary goodbyes before poll

Sixteen ward councillor aspirants for the forthcoming Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) elections stepped out of the fray on their own on Thursday, the last day to withdraw

Exit mode

Sixteen down, so the number of RMC councillor aspirants is 502 across 55 wards. None of the 14 mayoral contestants have withdrawn

Spousal sacrifice

Sanjida Khatoon, sitting ward councillor of ward No. 18, who had filed her nomination to retain her seat, withdrew voluntarily. Reason — husband Md Shakil had filed nomination for the same ward. “The ward is not reserved. Khatoon withdrew her nomination to help her husband Md Shakil win ,” an official said

Big fight

The fight to win the mayor’s seat will be exciting. Heavyweight mayoral aspirants include incumbent Rama Khalkho, who joined the Congress recently; BJP-backed Ajay Tirkey; Antu Tirkey, who enjoys JMM support; and Ratan Tirkey, a former journalist

Symbolic deal

The district administration will allot symbols on Friday to all aspirants — 502 for ward councillors and 14 for mayor — from 11am to 3pm. Once candidates get symbols, campaigning, so far limited to door-to-door activities, will step up.

Date rejig

State Election Commission mulling a fresh date for the RMC poll instead of April 7, the day when many city schools will be centres for CBSE engineering entrance exams and therefore will prove dicey for examinees if they have to function as polling booths as well.

“Keeping in view the engineering entrance exam, the commission may set either April 6 or April 8 date for the RMC polls. The polling date for other civic bodies across the state, however, will remain unchanged,” said M.K. Jha, State Election Commission secretary. But as of now, the commission has not come out with a formal notification.

State watch

There are over 4,800 councillor aspirants for 582 wards and over 400 contestants for the top post in 28 municipal bodies across the state.

Important municipalities include Hazaribagh, Chaibasa (West Singhbhum), Chakulia (East Singhbhum) Phusro (Bokaro), Chirkunda (Dhanbad), Seraikela and Adityapur (Seraikela-Kharsawan), Dumka, Basukinath, Sahebganj, Madhupur (Deoghar) and Lohardaga. These civic elections are also slated to be held in April.


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