Braving intense heat, sitting Jamshedpur MP is seeking votes for his party.
JVM(P) candidate Ajoy Kumar interacts with villagers during his campaign at Shyampur village of Patamda in Jamshedpur. (Arvind Sharma/HT Photo)
Ajoy Kumar, JVM(P) candidate, rode pillion to reach out to the masses. The parliamentarian travelled through dusty rural roads of Jamshedpur.
“I need to cover 45 villages till 2pm. A car is not an option. A motorcycle is comfortable and I can reach out to people easily,” the ex-IPS officer said, as he went around Patamda block with 200 bikes carrying his supporters.
The JVM(P) candidate was surrounded by loyalists, police officers and Jharkhand Jaguar jawans, as motorcycles moved through Jharkhand’s Maoist hotbed along the Bengal border.
Kumar kicked off his Patamda tour at 8am. As Opposition party offices — that of the BJP and the JMM — were closed, the MP and his men distributed manifestos to the villagers, who were seen riding with baskets of vegetables on their bicycles.
“Nobody waits to hear a politician speak. You have to make yourself heard. I try covering as much ground as possible in the early hours. This helps me interact with the villagers before they head to their fields,” Kumar said.
Kumar and his men addressed a small party meeting at Patamda Bazaar. “Keep your statements brief. We have less time, lots of work,” Kumar said.
The first important stop was at Macha at 8.15am. As soon as he reached there, the MP was surrounded by a crowd of 100 people.
They vouched for the comb, the party symbol, and simultaneously bombarded Kumar with local problems.
“All will be sorted out after elections. I promise. No requests now or I will be jailed,” he said, giving appointments after April 17, the poll day for Jamshedpur.\
As more bikers joined in the rally, Kumar warned, “No rash driving. Watch out for school children.” Breaking the humid day were slogans ‘Ei Bar Chiruni Chaap. Ei bar Ajoy Kumar (This time vote for comb and Ajoy Kumar).
By 10.45 am, the brigade covered 15 villages and was on its way to Sunderpur for a public meeting. Wiping his face with a white gamcha (towel) , Kumar met elderly people. Keeping his speech brief, he said, “You have seen my work. It is up to you to decide.” Applauds followed making it evident whose side Sunderpur was on.
As the sun reached its peak, rally participants refilled water bottles at Mekerkacha village. In the meantime, Kumar and his close aides took stock of the campaigning work in the area. “The real campaign was done in the past two years. I have visited every village and the development work shows it,” Kumar said.
Around 12.30pm, the JVM-P brigade reached Kating, covering 30 villages. Biscuit packets and juice glasses were distributed.
However, Kumar stuck to two cups of tea and three biscuits.
A splash of water on the face and Kumar was back amidst the people learning about their demands. “I assure all will be done,” he added. Leading the rally towards the Bengal border, bikers stopped at 10 villages. Around 1.45pm, Kumar reached Uriya where he addressed 150 people.
“I met my target and covered 45 villages. What a good day!” exclaimed Kumar.