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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Grand Alliance claims edge for JVM-P over BJP in Koderma

While Annapurna Devi, the BJP candidate in Koderma Lok Sabha seat, is a name to reckon with, the opposition Grand Alliance claims that its candidate Babulal Marandi has the edge in this triangular fight between the BJP, GA and CPi (ML).

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Apr 08, 2019 17:22 IST
Pankaj Kumar
Pankaj Kumar
Hindustan Times, Dhanbad
Babulal Marandi is the Grand Alliance candidate and Manorama Devi is the BJP candidate in Koderma Lok Sabha seat.
Babulal Marandi is the Grand Alliance candidate and Manorama Devi is the BJP candidate in Koderma Lok Sabha seat.(HT Photos)
         

The Koderma Lok Sabha seat is all set for a triangular contest, with BJP naming Annapurna Devi as its candidate, challenging former chief minister Babulal Marandi of JVM(P) and the last general elections’ first runner-up Raj Kumar Yadav of CPI(ML).

Annapurna, who recently quit her position as RJD chief in Jharkhand to join the ruling BJP, is the second person in her family to contest from this seat. In 1996, her late husband Ramesh Prasad Yadav had contested this seat as a Janata Dal candidate; he had lost to Ritlal Prasad Verma.

While Annapurna Devi is a name to reckon with, the opposition Grand Alliance claims that its candidate Babulal Marandi has the edge in this triangular fight. Congress leader Kishor Kumar Singh and JMM district president Sudivya Kumar Sonu hold this view . “We the secular forces are united now and would defeat BJP,” said Sonu and Singh.

BJP, which did not pick its sitting MP Ravindra Rai for this seat, feels that switching candidates would not affect the party’s poll prospects here. Senior BJP leader Ashok Upadhyay, who is district vice-chairman of the 20-point programme implementation committee, said, “The name selection has been made by the party high command. As party workers, we stand united in support of Annapurna Devi.”

This general category seat, formed in 1977, has been represented by Kushwaha community candidates five times, twice by Bhumihar candidates; once by a Muslim; and thrice by a tribal candidate, one of them being Babulal Marandi.

Hindustantimes

Caste is one of the main considerations here. The constituency is dominated by four main groupings: Kushwahas; Muslims; Bhumihars; and Yadavs. The Yadavs dominate in Koderma and Barkattha assembly segments, though they have presence in other four assembly segments, too. Kushwahas dominate in four assembly segments, all in the Giridih district. Bhumihars and Muslim voters are in good numbers in four assembly segments: Gandey, Rajdhanwar, Jamua, and Bagodar.

With Annapurna now in BJP, she may lose the support she used to get from Muslims. Her strength, however, happens to be the Yadav votes, plus the BJP cadre votes. Her presence may help BJP garner the Yadav votes that, until the last elections, used to go to the CPI(ML) candidate. As Bhumihar and Kushwaha candidates were in line for a BJP ticket but did not get one, voters from these communities may remain passive in these elections. These may go with tribal candidate Babulal Marandi.

Marandi, who is from Tisri block, Giridih, wants to regain this seat now that he has the support of two allies, JMM and Congress, besides the tribal voters of Gandey, Jamua, and Bagodar. Muslims now have to select between Marandi and Yadav.

First Published: Apr 08, 2019 17:09 IST

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