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Lalu’s second stint in Palamau

Ranchi, April 2: After Narendra Modi and Rajnath Singh, it’s Lalu Yadav’s turn to stir up the poll cauldron in Palamau.

The RJD chief will visit the rebel-hit constituency tomorrow to root for party nominee Manoj Kumar Bhuiyan in the second round of campaign.

Earlier, Lalu, who has been barred from contesting elections after being convicted in a fodder scam case, had addressed meetings at Bhavnathpur and Majhiaon on March 23, urging the masses to vote for Bhuiyan to keep “communal forces” (read Modi & Co.) at bay.

Tomorrow, he will drum up support in strongholds like Hussainabad, Ranka and Chhatarpur. The Hussainabad Assembly seat is now being represented by the RJD.

Ranka, which comes under Garhwa Assembly segment, went to RJD state president Girinath in 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2005. However, the victory run ended in 2009 when Girinath Singh was defeated by JVM’s Satyendra Nath Tiwari apparently because of division in upper caste votes.

Although Chhatarpur Assembly seat is being represented by the JD(U), the RJD has considerable support base in the area.

“Manoj Bhuiyan had won the Palamau Lok Sabha seat in 2004 by a huge margin. He gave a tough fight in the subsequent Lok Sabha elections, by-election and Assembly elections after parting ways with the RJD. Now that he is back in our party, his victory is certain. All of us are working hard for his success,” Singh told The Telegraph over phone.

RJD’s fate in Jharkhand depends a lot on the outcome in Palamau as it is the only seat that it fighting in the state with support from the Congress and JMM.

Battling against several odds in home state Bihar, Lalu has an uphill task to prove it to people that a secular alliance in power politics was indeed the only viable alternative for good governance. The task will not be anything less than challenging given the multi-cornered fight that Palamau is gearing up for.

While the BJP has fielded former DGP V.D. Ram, sitting MP Kameshwar Baitha quit the JMM to jump into the fray as a Trinamul Congress nominee. The JVM, on the other hand, has fielded former RJD MP Ghuran Ram.

The other regional player, Ajsu, had also decided to field a candidate only to retract at the eleventh hour.

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