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Cricket boss on Ranchi pitch

Ranchi, March 6: The JVM today announced 12 nominees for Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand, including JSCA boss and former IPS Amitabh Chaudhary for Ranchi, deferring the decision on two remaining constituencies as well as on whether party president Babulal Marandi would enter the fray.

First-timers, professionals and people with a clean image have been given poll preference in the regional party that seems to be sniffing resurgence and keeping away from pre-poll alliances.

So, Chaudhary, single-handedly credited with putting Dhoni’s hometown Ranchi on the international cricketing map with the JSCA stadium, will try to wrest the Ranchi seat currently held by Congress MP Subodh Kant Sahay.

Jamshedpur sitting MP and former IPS officer Ajoy Kumar will try his luck again in his constituency.

Civil services coaching institute director Arun Kumar Mishra is also testing political waters as the JVM candidate in Hazaribagh. Nicknamed success guru for his Chanakya IAS Academy, considered to be one of the most reputable in the area, he is one of the much-touted clean faces of the party.

Former ministers Samresh Singh and Saba Ahmad will be contesting Dhanbad and Giridih Lok Sabha seats, respectively. However, Singh resigned from the central election committee of the party today after the JVM ignored his demand to field his close aide and Baghmara MLA Dhullu Mahto from Giridih seat.

Former RJD MP Ghuran Ram will contest the SC reserved Palamau seat on a JVM ticket this time.

Former Koderma MP Ritlal Verma’s son Pranab Verma will be the JVM candidate from Koderma this year, though party chief Marandi is the sitting MP.

The rest of JVM’s nominees include Anil Murmu for Rajmahal, Krishna Gagarai for Chaibasa, Virendra Bhagat for Lohardaga and Vasant Longa for Khunti.

Neelam Devi, the only woman JVM candidate, will be contesting the Chatra Lok Sabha seat, where she is a zilla parishad member.

On the rest of the two seats, the likely contenders are party chief Marandi, now the sitting Koderma MP of JVM, who however seems reluctant to enter the fray, and principal general secretary Pradip Yadav, currently an MLA from Poreyahat in Santhal Pargana.

Though Marandi wants to focus on party organisation, his loyalists want him to contest the Dumka seat, whose sitting MP happens to be JMM chief Shibu Soren.

They want Yadav to contest the Godda seat.

After poll results are out, JVM may not be averse to forming a strong third front at the Centre to keep both Congress and BJP at bay, sources said.

“We held a party workers’ meeting this morning and sought suggestions from everyone. Thereafter the party’s election committee meeting was held, which finalised these 12 names. Both meetings were presided over by our party president. The names of our candidates for Dumka and Godda seats,” Yadav said.


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