Sparks fly as Roy heads into Das lair
The first skirmish in the high-profile election war in Jamshedpur East between chief minister Raghubar Das and his former cabinet colleague Saryu Roy erupted on Saturday afternoon.
Roy, the sitting Jamshedpur West MLA, is contesting as an Independent candidate from Jamshedpur East — the chief minister’s home constituency — after being denied the ticket from Jamshedpur West, allegedly at the behest of Das.
On Saturday, Roy had gone to campaign with nearly 50 supporters to Raghubar Nagar and the nearby Basti Nagar, two urban slums in Burmamines that have a sizeable number of supporters of Das.
“Apprehending trouble, we had informed the local police station as well,” said Vishal Kumar, campaign manager of Roy. “As soon as Saryuji entered the urban slums 10-15 youths started hooting and shouting expletives.
“They kept on following us, chanting Raghubar Das zindabad and Saryu Roy murdabad. We kept on requesting them that since it is election season every candidate has the right to campaign in each area of his constituency and they should allow us to do so. Even the Burmamines police personnel kept on requesting them. However, they continued heckling us till we completed the campaign after 15 minutes,” Kumar added.
Raghubar Nagar was established in 2007-08 for those evacuated from old Long Town Basti, also in Burmamines. Rambabu Tiwari, a close aide of Das, is believed to have been instrumental in settling the locals in the urban slums and last year the roads were widened and boundary walls at the entrance of the urban slums beautified under the local MLA fund. The nearly 2,000 voters of the slums are loyal to Das.
BJP district president Dinesh Kumar Sahu, however, denied the allegation from the Roy camp.
“The supporters of Saryu Roy started shouting expletives first and when the local residents reacted they started heckling them and even damaged the flowerpots kept along the road for beautification, which resulted in minor injury to a BJP worker. Now they are trying to blame the BJP workers to seek sympathy vote,” Sahu said.
The BJP leader claimed that despite all such tactics, Das would win from Jamshedpur East by a landslide margin and lead the next government in Jharkhand.
“The Saryu Roy camp is getting desperate while Raghubarji is helping in campaigning of party candidates in other constituencies. We are confident of victory by a comfortable margin and lead the next government as people have realised the development achieved under the double engine sarkar,” Sahu said.
Burmamines police station officer in-charge (OC) Vivekanand Singh said no complaint was lodged from either side.
“We have got no complaints from either side. Our personnel were present at the site and we interfered and settled the issue soon after hooting started from both sides during campaigning,” OC Singh said.