|A Congress worker shows the controversial pamphlet and (above) the party’s election office at Mahagama, Godda, on Wednesday. Pictures by Vijay Deo Jha
Godda, April 23: Personal attacks in the election season have hit a new low in Godda constituency with sitting BJP MP Nishikant Dubey and his wife being the main target of a slander campaign that has prompted the BJP to knock on police doors.
As campaigning came to an end yesterday, some 50,000 colourful pamphlets in the name of Matdata Jagaran Manch were circulated among people, asking them to elect a candidate with high public and personal integrity.
Although Nishikant was not named, there were enough indications that the myriad allegations were aimed at him. The MP’s wife was not spared either.
Her morphed pictures were allegedly circulated in pockets of Deoghar, Mahgama and Godda an hour before campaigning ended.
Calling it a Congress conspiracy, a livid BJP lodged a formal complaint with Godda police last evening.
“We are investigating the case. The matter has been reported to Election Commission,” Godda DSP Ajit Kumar told The Telegraph.
Nishikant, who has again been fielded by the BJP for tomorrow’s polls, hit back at the Congress and its candidate Furkan Ansari.
“I know who is doing all this. But such things can’t deter me. A month ago, Furkan Ansari and his supporters had created a dozen fake Facebook accounts in my wife’s name to malign me. Seven cases have been registered against Furkan and his men,” said the firebrand leader.
“Mere ghar ki izzat par ungli utha rahe hain. Dukhad hai, dukhad hai. Lekin in sabon se Congress ko vote nahi milne wala hai (They are questioning my family’s honour. It’s really sad. But this will not help Congress get votes),” Nishikant added.
Ansari washed his hands of the issue and in turn, went on to claim that Nishikant was staging a drama to garner sympathy.
“He (Nishikant) might have done all this to win public sympathy or it must be the handiwork of his rivals within the party. After all, Godda is notorious for election-related violence. Nevertheless, this time only a few clashes were reported,” he said.
Poll observers disapproved of such attempts to malign a candidate.
“In recent years, politicians here are showing little regard for decorum, which is very unfortunate. Good people have no space in politics now,” said the MP’s namesake and a professor, Nishikant Mishra.
A total of 15.90 lakh voters will be voting in Godda tomorrow, where 16 candidates are in the fray.
Although the main rivals are Nishikant and Ansari, JVM’s Pradeep Yadav, who is eyeing a chunk of Yadav votes, has made the contest triangular. As it is, Dubey is facing an open threat from former Mahagama MLA Ashok Bhagat, who has sworn that no Kalwar vote (around one lakh) would go to the BJP this time.
But the story is far from over for the sitting MP. Ramsundar Mahto, a daily labourer, best summed up the mood. “Nishikant may not be popular but you can’t rob him of his good works. He brought the President of India here. He gave us rail line from Pirpaiti to Hansdiha plus a hospital and an airport. Besides, voters are looking forward to Modi becoming the PM,” Mahto said.