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Sonia & Modi to skip Ranchi show

Ranchi, April 13: For reasons best known to them, Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi and the BJP’s spearhead for the 2014 elections Narendra Modi are likely to give Ranchi a miss ahead of the April 17 poll date.

Campaigns for the prestigious seat have entered the final leg with the April 15 deadline reaching closer. However, Sonia, according to Congress sources, is expected to visit the state on April 18, after the second round in Jharkhand.

The news has, naturally, dashed sitting Congress MP

Subodh Kant Sahay’s hopes to reap any last-minute dividend that a Sonia rally might have effected.

“I have only been informed over telephone that she is likely to come on April 18. However, an official communication is yet to come. If she is coming on April 18, she will naturally campaign for candidates who are trying their luck in the third round of polling on April 24,” said state Congress spokesperson Shailesh Sinha.

Party insiders said the detailed itinerary of her second visit to Jharkhand this election season had not yet been finalised. Sonia visited Ramgarh, a part of the Hazaribagh seat, on April 4, rooting for party candidate Saurabh Narayan Singh.

Likewise, the BJP’s prime ministerial pick Modi is unlikely to pitch for party’s Ranchi MP hopeful Ram Tahal Choudhary, who, Congressman Sahay apart, is pitted against Ajsu’s Sudesh Mahto and JVM’s Amitabh Choudhary.

According to state BJP spokesperson Pradip Sinha, Modi will campaign in other parts of Jharkhand on April 15.

“Modi will seek votes for party’s Hazaribagh candidate Jayant Sinha and sitting Dhanbad MP P.N. Singh. These apart, he will also address a rally in Basukinath, in support of Godda candidate Nishikant Dubey, on April 15,” Sinha added.

While Hazaribagh goes to polls on April 17, Dhanbad and Godda will vote on April 24.

Asked why Modi ignored Ranchi, Sinha said the itinerary had been finalised by the central leadership. “The state unit does not know anything about it,” he explained.

In Ranchi, the candidates have embarked on the final leg of electioneering, making last-ditch efforts to woo voters.

While JVM candidate Amitabh Choudhary today campaigned in different parts of the Silli Assembly segment, Ajsu chief Sudesh took out a motorcycle rally and campaigned in different parts of Kanke and Hatia Assembly segments.

BJP’s Ram Tahal, on the other hand, reached out to voters in Hatia and Kanke areas. Congressman Sahay stayed rooted to Hatia segment, his traditional stronghold.

l Ranchi votes on April 17


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