The sight of its injured candidate with his hand in a plaster, going around in an ambulance, asking the people to vote for him has given the BJP a boost ahead of this month’s polls in Jharkhand’s Latehar district.
The 56-year-old Braj Mohan Ram narrowly escaped death when a dumper truck hit his car last week, killing his bodyguard and an associate. Ram was admitted to a Ranchi hospital, but he persuaded doctors to let him go and booked an ambulance to hit the campaign trail.
The BJP candidate said he was the victim of a conspiracy to kill him.
“Only God saved me,” he said. “Although police are probing the incident, I will lodge an official complaint with the Election Commission of India, detailing how unknown enemies driving the dumper first tried to hit my vehicle head on and failed. They then chased and hit my vehicle on the right side.”
The BJP won the Latehar seat in 2009, but didn’t repeat sitting legislator Baidyanath Ram this year, choosing instead to field new entrant Narayan Bhokta. However, it replaced Bhokta with Braj Mohan Ram for the former’s alleged association with left-wing extremist group, Tritiya Prastiti Committee (TPC).
Party leaders blame TPC for the alleged murder attempt on Ram, but the BJP candidate is silent on the issue.
Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik’s (JVM-P) Prakash Ram, who lost the 2009 polls by only 834 votes, calls it all a publicity stunt to win sympathy votes.
Ram brushed the critcism off, lobbing the ball back in Prakash’s court.
“Will my opponent be willing to get hit by a speeding dumper just for the sake of sympathy votes?” he quipped.