Two new faces in face-off for seat Chirag left for Hajipur - Hindustan Times
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Two new faces in face-off for seat Chirag left for Hajipur

ByAditya Nath Jha, Jamui
Apr 12, 2024 09:24 PM IST

NDA nominee is LJP-R’s Arun Bharti, brother-in-law of sitting MP Chirag Paswan. RJD has fielded Archana Ravidas, wife of a little-known RJD leader.

Ravi Shankar, a professor at K K M College, Jamui, is not happy with the standard of education in Bihar in general. “I don’t think such education will help us translate our dream of developed India into reality as our Prime Minister Narendra Modi claims,” he says, but quickly adds that he is not a critic of Modi. “He is doing a very good job and we should give him some more time,” he says.

PM Narendra Modi kicked off his Lok Sabha poll campaign in Bihar with a rally at Jamui on April 4. (HT file)
PM Narendra Modi kicked off his Lok Sabha poll campaign in Bihar with a rally at Jamui on April 4. (HT file)

Ramesh Kumar, 45, is a daily wage earner from Jhajha in Jamui district. He is happy with the building of Ram temple in Ayodhya, but expresses his anguish over migration of labourers of Bihar to other states in search of jobs. “After we fail to get work here, we have to go to Deoghar in Jharkhand where we get 300 per day, which is too less to support my family of five,” he says.

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Kumar, however, expresses happiness that he has got “Ayushman card”, which recently helped him in his mother’s cataract surgery at a private hospital in Jamui. “But corruption is still rampant,” he rues.

Avinash Kumar, a 50-year-old farmer, is happy that he gets 2,000 under PM Kisan Samman Yojna. “I can tell you publicly that if the government didn’t send the money directly in our bank accounts, we would have to pay some commission, at least 500,” he says, while praising the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme.

However, Rakesh Kumar, a public servant, is not happy with the government. “What Modiji says, he hardly does,” he says. “People need employment more than anything else and Tejashwi Yadav has proved he can give jobs to the unemployed.” 

In the constituency once in the group of left-wing extremism (LWE), about 19 lakh voters are ready to exercise their franchise on April 19 when Jamui goes to vote in the first of the seven-phase parliamentary polls being held in the country.

Jamui is a seat reserved for scheduled castes (SCs), comprising around one lakh Paswans, 50,000 Manjhis and 80,000 from the Ravidas community. Among other backward classes (OBCs), there are 2.5 lakh Yadavs, 2 lakh Vaishyas and 2.5 lakh Koeris, Kurmis and Dhanuks. It also has about 1.5 lakh Muslims.

The issues dominating the discussions are Ram Mandir, unemployment, price hike and the style of functioning of PM Modi, who chose this seat to kick off his Lok Sabha polls campaign in Bihar.

“When you talk about nation, you talk about Modi as we can see there is no one leader in India who can match him,” professor Ravi Shankar.

Jamui parliamentary constituency is spread in three districts — Munger, Sheikhpura and Jamui.

Chirag Paswan won the seat twice in 2014 and 2019 as the candidate of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) founded by his father late Ram Vilas Paswan. This time, he has fielded his brother-in-law Arun Bharti, 45, on LJP (R) ticket as the NDA nominee.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has fielded 38-year-old Archana Ravidas, wife of RJD leader Mukesh Yadav who had once contested assembly elections unsuccessfully. Little else is known about Ravidas.

“We are committed to carrying forward the work of Ram Vilas Paswan here and we can say we will not disappoint the people,” Bharti says.

Archna cites work done in Bihar by Tejahswi Yadav in 17 months as the deputy chief minister. “I am getting the support from all sections of society and I am hopeful,” she says.

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