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Fervent appeals in final poll lap

The ultimate day of Lok Sabha election canvassing in Jharkhand saw frenetic activities in Dhanbad constituency.

Ajsu chief Sudesh Mahto led the pack of campaigners, addressing three rallies to boost prospects of party candidate and former state women’s commission chairperson Hemlata S. Mohan.

Sitting MP and BJP veteran P.N. Singh was close on his heels with an 8km road show from Bhuiphore temple to Moonidih.

Bokaro MLA and JVM hopeful Samresh Singh, the party’s Giridih candidate Saba Ahmad in tow, occupied street corners in Jharia and Baliapur Chowk.

Congress nominee Ajay Dubey took out an SUV and motorcycle rally in Sindri, while former party heavyweight and now Trinamul Congress candidate Chandra Shekhar ‘Dadai’ Dubey addressed serial meetings at Jangalpur in Govindpur, Barwa in Dhanbad and Parasi in Sindri. Later, he also campaigned in Bokaro.

Marxist Coordination Committee nominee Anand Mahto organised street skits in Dhanbad. And, AAP candidate Ramakant Verma, along with hundreds of supporters, participated in a road show in Bokaro steel city.

The final campaign war was triggered by Sudesh Mahto’s rally at Digwadih’s Ganesh Puja grounds at 10am, where he arrived on a bike from Chandankyari.

Addressing a gathering of 500 along with Hemlata and party’s Hatia MLA Navin Jaiswal, Sudesh, himself in the fray from elite seat Ranchi, said: “After winning the election your new Dhanbad MP (read Hemlata) will push for a power plant in this coal capital. We will use our own reserves to power our lives. It will minimise the cost of coal transportation to power plants elsewhere.”

A self-proclaimed youth icon, the 40-year-old Ajsu leader also promised employment opportunities so that Gen Y did not have to migrate to other cities. Special status for Jharkhand also figured conspicuously in his speech.

Despite being a political greenhorn, Hemlata too played to her gallery well. “I will try to address all the core issues of my constituency such as ensuring water supply in Jharia and Dhanbad, upgrading ISM into IIT and setting up a university in this town,” she said.

Sudesh addressed two more public meetings at Kusmatand in Baliapur and Pindrajora in Bokaro, where both the Ajsu chief and his nominee promised to take care of core issues. TMC’s Dadai, on the other hand, garnered for votes in the name of the work he did during his last term as Dhanbad MP in 2004-2009.

At his street meet at Baliapur Chowk, JVM heavyweight Samresh harped on the usual pledges of water, road and electricity, albeit more animatedly than his suave rivals. His daughter-in-law Shweta and Savitri Devi, the wife of JVM’s Baghmara MLA Dhullu Mahto, also conducted mass contact programmes in Nutandih, Baramudi and Dhaiya.