Every inch of the dusty town square in Chaibasa, a small town in Jharkhand, was occupied on Wednesday afternoon. For, Madhu Koda was addressing a rally in the area – the first after his disgrace and before the assembly elections.
The crowd that listened to former chief minister of Jharkhand had already been convinced that it was because of the conspiracy of the evil forces in state capital Ranchi, about 160 km northeast, that Koda had been implicated in a Rs 2,000-crore money laundering case.
Elections to the Jharkhand Assembly would be held from November 27 to December 18.
Koda played the victim well, asking the crowd, “Give my enemies a resounding slap by voting for my party candidates.” He had already introduced six candidates of his month-old Jharkhand Navnirman Morcha for the assembly elections.
“I may be sent to jail, or even killed,” he told the crowd drawn from across Singhbhum, his parliamentary constituency.
He became emotional while narrating his ordeals during the 10 days of rigorous interrogation by the investigating agencies, which, he said, were acting on behalf of his political rivals.
An Enforcement Directorate team will reach Ranchi from New Delhi on Thursday to grill him again. There are chances that he may be arrested. “I am not afraid of being arrested,” he said, leaving it to his people to crush the evil forces working against him.
Geeta Koda, his wife and a candidate from Jagannathpur, meanwhile, seems ready to take charge and carry the legacy in case her husband is arrested.
“When a woman can manage her family, there is no reason why she cannot manage a political party,” she said speaking ahead of her husband at the rally.
The only off-key voices were heard only after the rally was over. Some disgruntled old women, huddled in a circle at a corner of the field, complained that they were promised Rs 100 each for attending the rally, but were paid only Rs 10.