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Twin tests for Munda
- Former chief minister focuses on Jamshedpur, Rajmahal

Ranchi, April 3: He may have declined to contest the Lok Sabha elections, but Arjun Munda will be giving a different kind of exam when two key seats of Jharkhand go to polls this month.

As the BJP’s main poll manager in Jharkhand, Munda is concentrating hard to garner votes in Jamshedpur and Rajmahal, where two JMM turncoats have been fielded.

The former chief minister, who today campaigned in his traditional bastion, Kharsawan, is well aware that a lot would be at stake if the party failed to sail through in the two constituencies as both Bidyut Baran Mahto (Jamshedpur) and Hemlal Murmu (Rajmahal) were given tickets at his behest.

Within the BJP too, many leaders are believed to have misgivings against him because of his old ties with the JMM.

“My prime responsibility is to ensure the success of BJP candidates in all 14 Lok Sabha constituencies, but Jamshedpur and Rajmahal are our important challenges. Our political rivals are creating confusion. But, we have adequate time in hand and the issues will be resolved soon,” Munda told The Telegraph.

He admitted that the NaMo factor might have facilitated creation of a smooth ground for BJP contestants, but plugging the loopholes on various fronts was the responsibility of every BJP worker.

Narrating his experience when he had contested the by-election from Kharsawan Assembly seat three years ago, Munda said that JVM had then spread a false propaganda that he was out to amend the tenancy laws.

Consequently, he had to take up hectic campaigning and furnish substantial documentary evidences to settle the dust.

“We are trying to bring Narendra Modi (BJP’s prime ministerial candidate) for public meetings in Jamshedpur and Rajmahal. Other senior leaders of our party will also come. The BJP has a strong support base in both these constituencies and people are going to vote for us in the changed scenario,” he sounded confident.

Jamshedpur, which votes on April 17, has JVM’s Ajoy Kumar as sitting MP, who is seeking a re-election.

JMM, on the other hand, has brought former Tata Steel man Niroop Mahanty into the battlefield.

Rajmahal constituency, on the other hand, has always been known for neck-to-neck fights. Murmu is pitted against JVM’s Anil Murmu and JMM’s Vijay Hansda for the April 24 fight.

According to reports, a sizeable chunk of workers belonging to various parties, including BJP, JMM and Congress, are unhappy with the choice of their respective candidates.

“The BJP’s position in Jamshedpur has improved during the last few days. It’s difficult to tell anything about Rajmahal at the moment, because it has always witnessed close contests,” said RJD legislature party leader Annapurna Devi.


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