Dulal Bhuiyan on his way to Ranchi on Thursday.
Picture by Bhola Prasad
Jamshedpur, Aug. 21: A sizeable chunk of the 50,000-plus crowd at Prabhat Tara Ground in Ranchi’s Dhurwa, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a slew of projects today, was brought in by JVM defector-turned-BJP-member Dulal Bhuiyan.
The former land reforms and revenue minister, who joined the BJP on August 10, took along with him over 7,500 supporters in nearly 450 four-wheelers and buses to the state capital, flaunting his might and sending signals that he was back in the reckoning ahead of the Assembly elections.
A majority of vehicles in Bhuiyan’s cavalcade were sourced from different parts of his erstwhile Assembly constituency, Jugsalai, while some were arranged from Jamshedpur.
Bhuiyan started the day quite early, leaving his Bhuiyandih residence around 8am. He first garlanded the statue of Birsa Munda near his residence and then dropped in at the Durga Puja grounds to see off his supporters, who left in over 50 four-wheelers. After ensuring that all was fine, he hopped onto his car and sped off to Ranchi.
“Maine kareeb 450 gadiyon ka bandobast kiya. Dus bus-on mere hiteshiyon ne diye baaki maine khud kiya. Maine 60 bus ko Ranchi bheja (I arranged around 450 vehicles. Ten buses were provided by my well-wishers while the rest were arranged by me),” he proudly said while agreeing that today was the right time to show his capability as overzealous supporters hung around him.
“Bhuiyanji has shown his political weight. He has shown how popular and capable he is. After all, he also has to contest the Assembly elections,” an aide of the former JMM Jugsalai MLA (1995 to 2009) said.
Another associate revealed that his switching over to the BJP was a calculated political move aimed at winning brownie points.“Bhuiyanji is yet to overcome the embarrassment of losing the last state elections to Ajsu’s Ramchandra Sahis in 2009. He joined the BJP with an eye on the Assembly polls. Bhuiyanji is sure of bagging a ticket. The Prime Minister’s visit was the best time to impress those who matter in the BJP,” he said.
Bhuiyan, on his part, maintained that he joined the BJP as he was highly impressed with the ideology of Narendra Modi and BJP national president Amit Shah. “Mera BJP mein aana sone pe suhaga jaisa hain. Ticket dena ya na dena dal ke netaon par hain (My joining the BJP is like icing on the cake. Getting a ticket or not depends on the party leaders),” he said.
If the vehicle show was not enough, Bhuiyan also arranged a luncheon for his supporters at his Namkum residence. Although a simple spread of dal-bhat, sabji, achar and papad, the gesture is sure to have won him more fans.