CPI ticket on strong wicket

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Hazaribagh
  • Published 16.01.08
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Hazaribagh, Jan. 15: Ramchandra Ram, the CPI candidate in the Simaria bypoll, seems to be ahead of the ballot warriors.

After the RJD announced withdrawing their candidate from the bypoll and lending support to Ram, the CPI has played their card to stop division of votes.

Ram said he has been contesting this seat since 1985 but victory had been eluding him. He also said he was confident of victory this time with the support of the RJD and other UPA parties.

Yesterday, CPI secretary Bhuvaneshwar Prasad Mehta, who also represents Hazaribagh parliamentary seat, said Ram would be the UPA’s candidate in the ballot battle.

According to sources, Ram was defeated by the then BJP candidate Upendra Nath Das in 2005. Political observers said Das was a clever politician who exerted influence over workers and voters. Das had won from this constituency four times and his death in November resulted in the bypoll.

Observers said Das had secured 31,858 votes whereas Ram could secure only 24,438 and remained at the second spot during the previous election. RJD’s Yogendra Baitha got 17,859 votes.

The other candidates would have to work hard to change the scenario in their favour as Das has died and Ram has the support of two parties, they added.

Sources said Ram is a well-known personality in Simeria and nearby areas and has been active in politics for the past several years.

Ram said he would tell people about the lackadaisical attitude of all the previous legislators of Simeria. As the area still lacks basic infrastructure, Ram said, he would ask people to vote for an alert and hard working candidate.

Meanwhile, the BJP candidate Kumar Ujjwal, son of Das, will try to cash in on the legacy of his father. But political observers said as Ujjwal is a new face, Ram could take the ballot lead.

Ujjwal could also face trouble from his own quarters as he was given the ticket despite lobbying from the BJP’s Chatra legislator Satya Nand Bhokta, who wanted his wife to be made the party candidate. Bhokta and his supporters could try to create hurdles for Ujjwal.

Sources in the BJP said Ujjwal will file nomination on January 17 in the presence of senior leaders of the party — including Yashwant Sinha, Arjun Munda and Pashupati Nath Singh.