Monday, 30th October 2017

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Bouncer for Ranchi’s MP sparks protest

Ramtahal’s supporters feared that he would be denied a ticket for the Lok Sabha elections

By Vijay Deo Jha in Ranchi
  • Published 25.03.19, 12:32 AM
  • Updated 25.03.19, 12:32 AM
  • 2 mins read
MP Ramtahal Choudhary’s supporters protest outside the state party headquarters in Ranchi on Sunday. Picture by Manob Chowdhary

Over 500 supporters of the BJP’s Ranchi MP Ramtahal Choudhary on Sunday demonstrated outside state party headquarters in Harmu here on the apprehension that their leader would be denied a ticket for the Lok Sabha polls.

Ramtahal’s supporters fear that another Choudhary, BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Choudhary, would queer the former’s pitch.

BJP workers and supporters close to Ramtahal first held a meeting at RTC College at Ormanjhi, which the MP runs, from where they rushed to the BJP office for the protest.

Adding fuel to the fears of the MP’s supporters is the fact that the BJP had not yet announced its Ranchi nominee.

On Saturday, the BJP central poll panel had announced 10 candidates for the 13 constituencies in Jharkhand that the party would contest from, leaving one for ally Ajsu Party, but withholding names for Ranchi, Koderma and Chatra seats.

On Sunday, Ramtahal, a four-time MP from Ranchi seat, also warned the state and central leadership of the BJP that the party would have to pay dearly if he was denied a ticket from Ranchi.

“I trust the central leadership will take a positive decision about my candidature. Party workers are upset,” the veteran parliamentarian said. “If today hundreds are protesting, tomorrow the number would swell manifold. This won’t be good for the BJP.”

Asked why this situation emerged, he said, “Somebody played a trick.”

“In my case age is not the factor,” Ramtahal said, obliquely referring to octogenarian Karia Munda, long-time MP of Khunti, who was dropped for the 2019 polls. “I am in politics for 50 years, I am alive and kicking and raring to go.”

A senior BJP leader close to Ramtahal told this reporter that some senior leaders in Delhi and Jharkhand were lobbying for BCCI acting-secretary Amitabh.

Apparently, Ramtahal got an inkling on March 22 when BJP national joint general secretary (organisation) Saudan Singh apparently phoned him (Ramtahal), asking him to send a fax message to the party central and state leadership that he was unwilling to contest the election. “Choudharyji (Ramtahal) was shocked. He refused to send any fax. He is the only BJP candidate from Ranchi who can win. If the BJP denies him a ticket we will ask him to contest as an Independent,” the aide said.

He added Amitabh had “no qualification in politics except that he spent his life in the politics of cricket”.