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Marandi is polls apart

Dhanbad, April 14: JVM chief Babulal Marandi, here today to canvass for his party MP hopeful Samresh Singh, seemed more interested in campaigning for the Assembly elections to be held in Jharkhand later this year.

Urging people of the coal belt to vote the JVM to power in the state, the number 82 and not 14, seemed to top his mind.

From all-round growth to jobs, Marandi promised everything he could during his twin rallies in Dhanbad today.

The former chief minister started his campaign at Parasbania in Sindri, around 30km from district headquarters, at noon and stayed till 12.50pm.

Marandi, who has been spewing venom against both the Congress and BJP in his campaign trail, continued his tirade against the two national parties. “None of these parties has any vision or planning for development of Jharkhand,” he alleged, addressing a 1,000-strong audience at Parasbania football grounds.

Marandi added the campaigners of the two parties did not tell people how would they fight poverty, illiteracy, and corruption in Jharkhand. “Successive state governments handed over coal and other mines to private parties, ignoring the plight of residents,” he said.

His next stop was at Godhar, about 5km from Dhanbad district headquarters.

Here, the former chief minister lashed out at his successors, including Arjun Munda and Madhu Koda, for unleashing what he called a “reign of corruption that has continued to plague the state”.

Though his programme concluded around 2pm, he remained stranded at Godhar for around an hour as his chopper could not take off due to a cloudy sky. Ultimately, Marandi set out for Jamshedpur by road around 3pm.