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Dhanbad to seal fate of 1280

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By SHASHANK SHEKHAR & PRADUMAN CHOUBEY
  • Published 18.06.10
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Dhanbad, June 17: Branded one of the most of the polluted cities of the country, Dhanbad lacks even the most basic civic infrastructure. A faulty drainage system, erratic power supply, ill-planned colonies, shortage of drinking water and diminishing employment opportunities typify the coal capital.

However, with Rs 4000 crore coming its way for the millennium city project, Dhanbad is now being eyed by every political party who are leaving no stone unturned to ensure victory of candidates backed by them for tomorrow’s municipal polls.

With 7.86 lakh voters spread over 55 wards, Dhanbad will be electing a mayor, a deputy mayor and 55 councillors from among 1280 candidates tomorrow.

The importance of this election can be gauged from the profile of the candidates —four time MP and former Union minister Rita Verma, gynaecologist Shivani Jha, Janta Mazdoor Sangh’s Ramadhir Singh’s wife Indu Singh, former minister Baccha Singh’s nephew, Neeraj Singh, two times MLA Abo Devi, INTUC leader B.P.Sinha’s daughter-in-law, Urmila Sinha, and former MP Shankar Dayal Singh’s daughter-in-law, Ranjana Singh, are all in the fray with Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce vice president Rajiv Sharma, and dozens of traders, professionals, teachers and intellectuals.

Kayasthas, Bengalis, Muslims, Rajputs, Mahtos, Harijans, Baniyas, Yadavs and Bhumihars make up the major part of Dhanbad’s population. Every candidate is not only banking heavily on community votes, but also that of labourers and miners who are loyal to union leaders.

Despite the presence of 23 candidates for the mayor’s post, the fight appears to be between Shivani Jha, Rita Verma, Indu Singh, Abo Devi and Urmila Sinha.

Rita Verma is banking on RSS, BJP and Kayastha voters. Shivani Jha, wife of JVM leader Vijay Jha, feels that as she hails from the medical fraternity, intellectuals as well as JVM supporters would back her. Indu Singh is relying on Rajput and labourer votes. Abo Devi feels her support base is among Yadavs and RJD voters, while Urmila Devi is depending on Bhumihar and Intuc workers.

Speaking to The Telegraph, a confident Rita Verma said: “People have seen me working as an MP and minister. They know about my ethics. If I win, it will be a boon for the people.

For the post of deputy mayor, 56 candidates are in the fray.