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Once a political foe, Marandi seeks votes for Shibu Soren

Soren and Marandi are the two tallest tribal leaders of the state and had been adversaries all their political life before the two parties came together to become part of the grand opposition alliance of four parties in the state.

lok sabha elections Updated: May 18, 2019 08:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Ranchi
JMM,Marandi,Jharkhand
Babulal Marandi campaigns for JMM president Sibu Soren in Dumka. (HTPhotos)

The last day of poll campaign for the last phase of 2019 Lok Sabha elections witnessed a remarkable moment as former chief minister and JVM (P) president Babulal Marandi sought votes for JMM patriarch and former chief minister Shibu Soren.

Soren and Marandi are the two tallest tribal leaders of the state and had been adversaries all their political life before the two parties came together to become part of the grand opposition alliance of four parties in the state, with Congress and RJD being the other two constituents.

Marandi is the only leader who defeated Shibu Soren from Dumka Lok Sabha in the past. In 1998, Marandi, then a BJP leader, emerged a giant killer by defeating Soren in the Lok Sabha election and defeated his wife Rupi Soren in 2000. In 2006, Marandi had quit BJP and formed JVM (P). In 2014, Marandi, however lost from Dumka and emerged a distant third.

Addressing a joint rally with the JMM patriarch in Nala assembly segment in Dumka Lok Sabha constituency, Marandi said times have changed and the two have joined hands to defeat the BJP.

“Earlier, we used to fight against each other but now we have joined hands to unseat the BJP from power at the Centre. Last time (in 2014), you gave me 1.58 lakh votes. I appeal the voters to transfer all that vote and ensure a massive victory of Guruji,” Marandi said.

On the last day of the campaign, top JMM and JVM (P) leaders held rallies and road shows in their respective constituencies. JVM (P) candidate Pardeep Yadav held a road show in Godda.

JMM working president, who addressed rallies in Dumka and Rajmahal, said, “Going by the response I received during the campaign, the opposition would win all three seats in Santhal.”

Campaigning in Santhal Pargana’s three parliamentary constituencies Dumka, Rajmahal and Godda, which will go to the polls on May 19, came to an end on Friday evening.

First Published: May 18, 2019 02:53 IST