JAMSHEDPUR: Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das is facing a tough challenge from his party’s rebel Saryu Rai, who revolted against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership after being denied a party ticket and is in the fray from Jamshedpur East, the state’s most cosmopolitan constituency.
Das is seeking a sixth consecutive term from this seat. Rai was elected to the state assembly from the neighbouring seat — Jamshedpur West — in 2014. Interestingly, Rai was a minister in Das government in the state.
Known as Jharkhand’s cosmopolitan constituency, Jamshedpur East seat is considered to be BJP’s stronghold. This seat has voters who are from different states of India. The voters are generally categorised on the basis of the languages they speak and include Oriya, Bengali, Punjabi, Bhojpuri and Marathi speakers.
“You can’t win an election from Jamshedpur East seat by attacking the BJP. You may target the BJP nominee, but not the BJP,” a local leader, who was a candidate in 2014 assembly polls against CM Das, told ET. His comment was in reference to the strong support base BJP enjoys among voters of this seat for the last four decades.
In this backdrop, Rai’s candidature from Jamshedpur East has apparently made things difficult for CM so campaigning for BJP nominee and CM Das. However, my family members say they would vote for Rai,” said Janamjay Singh, a motorcycle mechanic in Birsa Nagar.
Rai has been highlighting CM Das’ failure to deliver on his promise to legalise 86 bastis (localities) of Jamshedpur East seat. “Locals always backed CM Das in the hope that he would fulfil this promise.
Legalising 86 bastis was CM’s main poll plank in the last elections. But, he failed despite becoming CM of the state,” Rohan, who is a resident of Golmuri Park area, said.
CM Das is perhaps aware about the resentment against him over this particular issue in his constituency. Just a day before the PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Jamshedpur, Das spent good time to undertake a “Padyatra” in the city, particularly in areas that are part of 86 bastis. “Voters ultimately look to BJP. So, I hope CM Das will win this election easily,” said Vasudev in “Ramdeo Ke Bagan” locality.
Source: Economic Times