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How Modi wave conquered a Koda bastion
- Laxman Gilua trounces Geeta by 87524 votes in Singhbhum, promises development as new MP

The spell cast by Narendra Modi spread to the reserved (Scheduled Tribe) seat of Singhbhum, swinging votes in favour of Laxman Gilua.

The BJP candidate, who defeated local bahu Geeta Koda by a convincing margin of 87,524, polled a whopping 3,03,079 votes. Gilua had earlier won the constituency only once in 1999.

Jai Bharat Samanta Party’s (JBSP) Geeta, whose scam-tainted husband and former chief minister Madhu Koda was the sitting MP, trailed at 2,15,603 votes.

“The entire credit for my win goes directly to Narendra Modi and no one else. He is a wonderful man. People have voted me as they wanted Modiji to head the nation,” said a gracious Gilua after the 10th round of counting when he was ahead by 63,048 votes.

Asked what would be his calling now that he has become an MP, the BJP leader toed the line of his political master.

“I will work for development. My focus will not only be on infrastructure like drinking water supply system and roads, I will also build irrigation facility to augment agriculture output in this comparatively underdeveloped constituency. I will also work for upgrading educational institutions from the primary to the higher level. Better rail connectivity in this part of the region will be my other priority,” Gilua promised.

The BJP contender had been maintaining a steady lead over nearest rival Geeta since counting started at Mahila College, Chaibasa, around 8am. But Madhu Koda’s better half looked anything but disappointed as she laughed and chatted away with party workers in the morning. When the result of the first round was declared around 10.30am, she said: “I will speak to the media only after the final round is over.”

But as the day wore on and updates continued to pour in, her mood also changed. As the result of the third round came in around 12.30pm, a grim Geeta quietly slipped away.

In all, the counting was wrapped up in 14 rounds and the results were declared at 5pm. Gilua polled maximum votes in five of the six Assembly segments — Chaibasa, Koda bastion Jagannathpur, Seraiklea, Chakradharpur and Manoharpur — while the JBSP had a marginal lead in Majhgaon.

However, BJP workers kept their euphoric emotions under check at Chaibasa township even as the joy among them was palpable. “Just wait and watch for some time and then see how Chaibasa bursts into celebrations,” said Maniram Sahu, a tea-stall owner at Chaibasa market.

A total of 12 candidates were in the fray in Singhbhum, which has an electorate count of 9,57,406.