The Telegraph
Sunday , April 20 , 2014
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Innovation to fend off NaMo wave

Dhanbad, April 19: This 72-year-old former MLA from Sindri doesn’t believe in tall promises, instead will let his work do the talking.

Marxist Coordination Committee’s (MCC) Anand Mahto, who is pitted against sitting MP P.N. Singh of the BJP and heavyweight Chandra Shekhar Dubey of the Trinamul Congress, is campaigning extensively in rural belts of the Dhanbad parliamentary constituency.

Riding on the support of the Left Front and JD(U), Mahto is leaving no stone unturned to win voters’ confidence, but desisting from promising the moon.

Everyday, he hits the campaign trail around 8am. Even today, he set out for Rangamati area of Sindri early in the morning. Later, he met people in Seematand and Sindri township. He then rushed to Bokaro where he took part in a road show.

Though first time in the fray for the Lok Sabha elections, Mahto is an old horse and knows the tricks of the trade. He had won Sindri Assembly seat in 1977, 1980, 1990 and 1995, and is aware of ground realities in the coal belt.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Mahto claimed most of the problems could be solved through an improved work culture and better mismanagement.

Asked how would he streamline traffic movement in Dhanbad, the veteran politician said a long-term solution would be over bridges.

“I won’t promise any new road and over bridge. But I would suggest that the issue can be solved through effective traffic management by deploying policemen more strategically,” he pointed out.

The MCC candidate has similar solutions for erratic power supply and water crisis.

“Officials of Jharkhand State Electricity Board need to change their work culture and become more professional in order to provide better services,” he added.

To mitigate water crisis, Mahto came up with an innovative idea. “Water removed from mine pits on a daily basis can solve the crisis. De-watering is must to prevent inundation. The water can be treated properly and supplied. Cost will be less than what is required to carry river water to households,” he explained.

On the closed Fertilizer Corporation of India factory in Sindri, he said the issue should be handled carefully.

“The proposed steel factory and other industrial units in Sindri at a cost of around Rs 3,500 crore will need vast tracts of land. But most of the plots in Sindri are encroached,” he said, adding amicable solution could be found through discussions.

Mahto enjoys a strong support base in rural areas of the constituency, where campaigns have gained momentum. With only a few days left, MCC leader is trying hard to counter both NaMo wave and Dubey’s charisma with his out-of-the-box ideas.

l Dhanbad votes on April 24