Raghubar Das charms home turf
Voting starting in the state, chief minister Raghubar Das is back in his home turf, Jamshedpur East, with a padyatra.
The five-time MLA and chief minister who has a good rapport with the central BJP leadership is facing his most crucial electoral test this election, as his own former cabinet colleague Saryu Roy is fighting him. Denied a BJP ticket from Jamshedpur West, veteran Roy, who has his own support base, is leveraging it against the CM on Jamshedpur East.
Congress spokesperson and candidate, XLRI finance professor Gourav Vallabh is making it a three-cornered contest. Both Roy and Vallabh are speaking to voters about land rights for urban slum dwellers, an issue Das piggybacked on to win from this seat for over two decades.
tarting around 8am on Saturday, supported by over 200 BJP workers, Das toured the densely populated Bagunhatu and Bagunnagar slums for two hours. Son Lalit, a Tata Steel executive, accompanied the chief minister.
Das spoke amicably with several residents who greeted him on the way and waved at the crowd of onlookers standing on either side of the streets.
He stopped especially before the elderly, asking about their health.
'Are you happy with me? I will do whatever I can to make you happier. You just support me this time too like you have been doing for long,” Das, the five-time MLA from Jamshedpur East, told an old man at Bagunhatu during the padyatra.
By 10.30am, Das reached the Sonari aerodrome to board a copter to Rajnagar in Seraikela for a public meeting to seek votes for BJP candidate Ganesh Mahali.
At Rajnagar, addressing a crowd of 5,000-plus, Das said that in the 2014 Assembly election Mahali had been defeated by JMM candidate Champai Soren by a margin of only 1,149. “This time, people should ensure the victory of the candidate who always tends to help the people in distress,” he said, referring to Mahali.
The CM said the leaders of JMM and its allied parties had looted the state and done nothing for development.
Launching a scathing attack on JMM working president Hemant Soren, Das said: “Despite remaining in power for a considerable period, Hemant Soren and his father (Shibu Soren) could not even honour those who had fought for the creation of a separate state, but the BJP has done this.”
Speaking on how his government had set up 70 power grids and 200 power substations, Das said most people in the interiors were enjoying electricity. “If the BJP is voted to power again, the remaining villages will also be electrified,” he said.
He added: “Now, those living in the remote and interior villages of Rajnagar block can vouch for how their lives have been transformed during the past five years.”
On the displacement of villagers due to the under-construction Kuju dam, Das promised that if voted to power, the BJP would ensure that villagers would be rehabilitated first.
On Saturday night, the BJP has organised a litti party at Agrico in Jamshedpur East constituency.