Singhbhum candidate Geeta Koda waits for her turn at a polling booth in Jagannathpur on Thursday. Telegraph picture
Chaibasa, April 17: Jai Bharat Samanta Party (JBSP) candidate Geeta Koda is pinning hopes on rural voters to retain Singhbhum constituency, which her husband Madhu Koda won in the last elections.
Though it’s too early to predict any outcome, Geeta is confident of trouncing main rival Laxman Gilua of the BJP by a huge margin.
“Hume apni jeet ka pura yakin hai. Aur yeh bharosa sirf aur sirf mera and mere husband ke bikashnmukhi karya jo humne yahan ke logon ko kar dikhaya hai uske liye hai,” (I am full confident of my victory. And it is only because of the development work that my husband and I have done for the people of this region),” said the JBSP candidate, after casting her vote at her Patahatu village in Jagannathpur around 8.30am.
She came out of her Chaibasa home around 7.30am and waited in a queue for her turn. After casting her vote, she got into an SUV and went to Manoharpur and other segments to gauge the situation.
“Though I have been receiving inputs on voting trends from across the constituency, I still want to visit all areas,” she told The Telegraph.
Voters in rural areas came out in large numbers to exercise their franchise from early this morning.
According to sources, around 25 per cent of votes were cast by 10.30am in places like Hatgamharia, Jhinkpani, Jagannathpur and Chaibasa mufassil.
People, including a large number of women, were seen standing in long queues, under the sun to exercise their voting right.
One Bipin Gagrai said he came to vote as early as 6.30am, half an hour before the voting officially kicked off.
“It is too hot today. We all wanted to cast vote and return home early,” said Gagrai (60), a resident of Kesargaria village in Hatgamharia and farmer by profession.
Gagrai, when asked, said he would vote Geeta because the people residing in a large part of the constituency had felt the difference after the Kodas became MP and MLA.
“Hamare gaon me khushali hai. Nai sadak ban gai hai. Paas ke Jagannathpur mein engineering college ban gaya hai, aur longo ko behattar rojgar ka mouka bhi mil raha hai. Aur yaha saab hua sirf Madhu Koda aur unki patni Geeta Koda ke liye,” (Our village is prospering. New roads have come up, an engineering college has been set up in adjoining Jagannathpur, and people are getting better income opportunities now. And all these have happened because of the Kodas),” said the farmer.
However, if a large number of rural voters are rallying behind Geeta, NaMo wave, especially in urban segments, may turn the tide against her.
Ajay Kumar, a resident of Jokhia in Jagannathpur, said he and his friends cast their votes for the BJP candidate.
“I am definitely impressed with the work done by the sitting MP and his MLA wife, but we want a BJP-led government at the Centre,” said Kumar, who is an electrician by profession.
The constituency, comprising six Assembly segments, has over 13 lakh voters. Around 63 per cent of them cast their vote today.
Among the 12 candidates in the fray, Gilua and Geeta Koda are the frontrunners.