BJP leader Arjun Munda plays a shot at the Golmuri Golf Course in Jamshedpur on Sunday. A visibly relaxed Munda hit the field after two months of hectic election schedule. He played with fellow golfers for about three hours from 5.30am before leaving for Ranchi later in the day.
Picture by Bhola Prasad
Ranchi, May 18: Top state BJP functionaries today accused chief minister Hemant Soren of rigging polls in Dumka and Rajmahal and sought to move court to cancel results, an allegation that asserts the lotus would have otherwise bloomed in all 14 seats of Jharkhand.
Addressing a news conference at party headquarters in Harmu, state BJP president and Koderma MP Ravindra Rai and former chief minister Arjun Munda blamed Hemant for misusing “his official position” to “influence polling and vote counting”. Both claimed the BJP got overwhelming votes in Dumka and Rajmahal but the JMM manipulated counting with official help.
From Dumka, JMM chief and Hemant’s father Shibu Soren defeated BJP’s nominee Sunil Soren by a margin of 39,030 votes. In Rajmahal, JMM nominee Vijay Hansdah defeated his nearest rival Hemlal Murmu of the BJP by a margin of around 41,000 votes.
“Hemant Soren camped in Dumka and misused his official position. He forced district officials to rig in favour of the JMM candidate who happens to be his father. He was present at the counting centre. We will now fight a legal battle over election results. We demand recounting,” Rai said.
Munda also levelled similar charges. “The BJP candidate (Sunil) was going ahead with a good margin. Suddenly, counting was stopped and figure inflated in the favour of the JMM candidate (Shibu). I had brought this matter to the notice of the Election Commission,” he said.
He added power supply at the Dumka counting centre was disrupted deliberately to fudge counting.
He added the JMM deployed 27 companies of paramilitary forces in Dumka in selected urban pockets, leaving huge tracts of the hinterland without security cover.
“This was the JMM game plan. In areas without paramilitary forces, they did whatever they could to prevent free and fair elections. Otherwise, the BJP would have won in Dumka,” Munda said.
On Rajmahal, the BJP accused the JMM of flooding the constituency with “thousands of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants to vote in favour of the JMM candidate”.
“In the coming days, we will expose JMM’s nexus with anti-national forces,” Rai said.
He added names of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants were deliberately added to voter lists to help JMM candidate Vijay Hansdah.
“Over the years, the demography of Rajmahal has been disturbed by illegal Bangladeshi settlers. Jharkhand is facing the worst security threat due to this factor,” Rai added.
Asked if the BJP would go to Raj Bhavan to seek the ouster of the Hemant Soren- led JMM-Congress-RJD government, Munda said his party would not do so. “Hemant should resign on his own if he is left with integrity. But he will cling to power, and in the days to come, the BJP will start agitation for his ouster,” he said.