The Telegraph
Thursday , April 10 , 2014
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Wannabe MLAs out to feel voter pulse

Usually, Assembly polls are considered the “semi-final” before Lok Sabha elections in the country. But in Jharkhand, it is the other way round.

Take for instance Jamshedpur.

The election in this parliamentary constituency is being considered a litmus test for MLA aspirants across six Assembly segments.

For, Assembly polls are likely to be held soon after the general election results are announced on May 16.

Leaders cutting across party lines are, therefore, leaving no stone unturned to make their presence felt during the Lok Sabha campaign trail and re-establish their dominance in the Assembly segments of Jamshedpur East, Jamshedpur West, Bahragora, Jugsalai, Potka and Ghatshila.

The likes of BJP’s Raghubar Das, Menka Sardar and Sarayu Roy, JMM’s Ramesh Hansda and Ramdas Soren and JVM’s Abhay Singh and Dulal Bhuiyan — all eyeing tickets for the upcoming Assembly elections — are mingling with the electorate and toning up their people-friendly image while campaigning for their party’s Lok Sabha nominees.

Das, the sitting Jamshedpur East MLA, is frequenting various localities under his Assembly segment to garner support for party nominee Bidyut Baran Mahto. Fellow legislator Menka Sardar is doing the same in Potka.

BJP’s Roy, who lost from Jamshedpur West in 2009 Assembly polls, has also joined the bandwagon by devoting his entire energy towards his campaign for Mahto.

Soren, who won the Ghatshila seat, is touring his area with renewed vigour to be surge ahead of others when it comes to retaining the ticket for the Assembly elections. Hansda, who nursed ambitions of a Lok Sabha berth, is also actively garnering support for their party candidate Niroop Mahanty in Potka.

JMM district president Hansda said he was very serious about contesting the Assembly polls and hence was campaigning extensively for Mahanty to earn people’s support for himself.

Pratyashi ke saath saath apni jameen bhi banana hain (Along with the candidate, I also have to prepare my own ground),” he added.

Soren, on the other hand, said: “Mere yahan sab theek-thaak hain. Mahantyji ko accha samarthan dilaunga (All is well in Ghatshila. I will ensure Mahanty gets support from my constituency).”

Singh, the JVM central committee general secretary who is keen to contest from Jamshedpur East this time, is one of the centrifugal figures in sitting Jamshedpur MP Ajoy Kumar’s team.

Popular in his segment, Singh with his band of supporters is actively involved in door-to-door campaigns to keep himself in good stead ahead of the state elections.

Bhuiyan, a former minister who lost the Jugsalai seat to JVM’s Ramchander Sahis in the 2009 Assembly elections, is also frequently turning up in the rural areas to make a positive impression.

A close aide of Bhuiyan said: “Ticket kisko nahin chahiye. Lok Sabha chunav ek avsar hain jise bhunana chaiyen. (Who doesn’t want a ticket. Lok Sabha polls is an opportunity that needs to be explored).”

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