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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Sitting MP faces ‘outsider’ opponent

Azad was the joint candidate of the Opposition alliance of Congress, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha, and Rashtriya Janata Dal.

lok sabha elections Updated: May 13, 2019 07:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Dhanbad
kirtiazad,jharkhand,congress
Azad, who won the last election from Bihar’s Darbhanga on a BJP ticket, focussed on a lack of development in Dhanbad while campaigning, and brought up the state’s water crisis(HTPhotos)

A 59.60% turnout was recorded in Dhanbad as it went to the polls along with three other Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand in the sixth phase of the ongoing national polls on Sunday. Dhanbad has been a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stronghold. Hoping to wrest the seat, the Congress fielded cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Jha Azad, who quit the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Azad was the joint candidate of the Opposition alliance of Congress, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha, and Rashtriya Janata Dal. Azad, who won the last election from Bihar’s Darbhanga on a BJP ticket, focussed on a lack of development in Dhanbad while campaigning, and brought up the state’s water crisis.

BJP lawmaker P N Singh, who sought a third term from Dhanbad, spoke often of the “sea change in terms of development” visible since he first won the seat in 2009. The BJP has won the Dhanbad Lok Sabha seat six times since 1991 largely on the plank of providing basic necessities. Mine fires, drinking water crisis, erratic power supply and coal mafia are some of the key issues Dhanbad has faced for decades.

“Leaders of all parties have made false promises but we have no alternative,” Anand Saha, a schoolteacher.

First Published: May 12, 2019 23:37 IST