Monday, 30th October 2017

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Campaign mode over, waiting mode now

CM Raghubar Das appeared to be relaxed as he held a series of meetings at Project Building in Ranchi on Monday

By Vijay Deo Jha in Ranchi
  • Published 21.05.19, 12:12 AM
  • Updated 21.05.19, 12:12 AM
  • 2 mins read
Chief electoral officer L Khiangte addresses the orientation and counting training programme for returning officers and assistant returning officers at the state election commission office on Ratu Road in Ranchi on Monday. (Prashant Mitra)

Over 100 campaign rallies later, CM Raghubar Das seems to be awaiting the results of Lok Sabha polls on Thursday with more eagerness than the 13 BJP candidates and one Ajsu Party (ally) nominee that he campaigned for.

Das, who virtually controlled and coordinated the entire NDA election campaign in Jharkhand with over 100 rallies, appeared to be relaxed as he held a series of meetings at Project Building in Ranchi on Monday. “Once results are declared I will rush to New Delhi to congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is coming back to power. The NDA is getting a thumping majority,” smiled Das.

Das’s predecessor in the CM’s office and arch-rival, JMM Hemant Soren, who campaigned for mahagathbandhan nominees across Jharkhand, Odisha, Bengal and Bihar, is in Dumka and would stay there on result day.

Hemant’s father, the JMM patriarch Shibu Soren, eight-time Dumka MP and in his mid-70s now, is pitted against BJP challenger, the much younger Sunil Soren. Dumka is special for the JMM, said a close aide of Hemant, which is why the son is camping there, seeking feedback from party workers and voters.

JVM chief Babulal Marandi, who was Soren Senior’s political adversary a decade ago, this time appealed for votes in Guruji’s name as a part of the mahagathbandhan.

Marandi, who zigzagged across the state for campaigning, came back to Ranchi on May 18. It’s a high-stakes election for him as Koderma nominee in a triangular contest against BJP’s Annapurna Devi and CPI(ML)’s Rajkumar Yadav. His MLA Pradeep Yadav is fighting to unseat the Godda MP Nishikanth Dubey. If Marandi knows this poll is the litmus test for him and the JVM in Jharkhand’s political landscape, he’s not showing it. A JVM party leader said Marandiji was affable as usual.

BJP candidate and sitting MP of Godda Nishikant Dubey is now Deoghar with a sore throat. “Badly tired but energetic,” he said. “In 2014 I had won with a margin of 60,000 votes and this time I will win with double the margin. Those (rivals) who said I should be thrown on the other side of the Ganga (read Bhagalpur, his birthplace) have been trounced by voters.”

Former CM and BJP’s Khunti nominee Arjun Munda is in Jamshedpur since May 17, but on Tuesday would go to Gumla and reach Khunti the day after, an aide said.

In Dhanbad, MP and BJP candidate P.N. Singh relaxed with family and party workers at his Dhansar home. “My prediction that Kirti Azad (Congress) is lightweight will come true on Thursday,” he quipped.