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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: BJP goes all out in bid to wrest Rajmahal, Dumka from JMM

The BJP is all set to pitch its star campaigners, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP’s national president Amit Shah, top leaders Smriti Irani, Manoj Tiwari and Giriraj Singh, to canvass for BJP candidates who are contesting from these three seats.

lok sabha elections Updated: May 10, 2019 16:14 IST
Bedanti Saran
Bedanti Saran
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
lok sabha elections 2019,lok sabha polls in jharkhand,dumka LS seat
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das and former chief minister Arjun Munda at an election rally in Lohardaga on April 24.(HT Photo )

The Bharatiya Janata Party is making extensive poll preparations to dent Jharkhand Mukti Morcha’s citadel in the Santhal Pargana division, which comprises the three Lok Sabha seats of Dumka, Rajmahal and Godda, that will go to polls in the last phase of Lok Sabha elections on May 19.

The party is all set to pitch its star campaigners, which include Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP’s national president Amit Shah, top leaders Smriti Irani, Manoj Tiwari and Giriraj Singh, to canvass for BJP candidates who are contesting from these three seats. Besides, chief minister Raghubar Das will be camping in the area from May 11 to May 17.

The saffron party, which had won 12 Lok Sabha seats out of 14 in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in Jharkhand, is eying the remaining two seats Rajmahal and Dumka, currently represented by JMM.

Political stalwart and JMM supremo Shibu Soren has been representing the Dumka Lok Sabha seat for the last three decades, except for two general elections held in 1998 and 1999, when Babulal Marandi won from Dumka on a BJP ticket. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address an election rally on May 15 in Deoghar assembly segment under Godda parliamentary constituency, from where BJP’s sitting MP Nishi Kant Dubey is contesting. Dubey had also won from Godda in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. He is in for a direct fight with opposition-led Grand Alliance candidate and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) (JVM-P) leader Pradeep Yadav. Modi’s detailed itinerary, however, is yet to be finalised.

BJP has fielded Sunil Soren and Hemlal Murmu again to take on JMM sitting MPs Shibu Soren and Vijay Hansdak from Dumka and Rajmahal Lok Sabha seats respectively.

Also Read | Lok Sabha 2019 constituency: Close expected fight in Jharkhand’s Godda seat

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Sunil and Hemlal were defeated by small margins of 39,193 and 41,337 votes respectively.

“Amit Shah is scheduled to address a public rally at Hiranpur football ground in Rajmahal on May 11. On the same day, Smriti Irani will hold two rallies at Agia More Maidan in Poryahat and at College Ground in Sikaripara assembly constituencies under Godda and Dumka Lok Sabha seats,” said BJP’s former state spokesperson Pradeep Sinha.

He added, “Tour plans of Manoj Tiwari and Giriraj Singh are yet to be finalized. They will probably be present in the area after May 15.”

Party leaders feel that the presence of Modi and other top leaders in the area would create a deep impact on voters and would be a game changer, as wresting Rajmahal and Dumka from JMM will also help BJP increase its national tally of seats.

In order to bolster the party’s prospect in JMM’s bastion, chief minister Raghubar Das has been holding meetings to discuss minute details and draw poll strategies with all stakeholders at his residence since the last two days. He reportedly directed all BJP state leaders to shift to the Santhal region soon after polling for the sixth phase ends on May 12.

Also Read | Lok Sabha 2019 constituency: JMM, BJP in tough fight over Rajmahal seat in Jharkhand

A special team of 25-30 BJP party members from the state capital will camp in the area till elections are over. They have been assigned to look after booth management in 18 assembly constituencies falling under the three Lok Sabha seats. Reportedly, the party has collected details of every booth to figure out where the presence of BJP is strong and where considerable work needs to be done. Focus will be on those booths where BJP performed poorly in the last Lok Sabha elections.

With the opposition-led Grand Alliance being considered as a formidable opposition for BJP this time, the saffron party is leaving no stone unturned to wrest Rajmahal and Dumka, as denting JMM’s bastion will also give the party an edge in the assembly elections, scheduled to be held later this year.

First Published: May 10, 2019 16:14 IST