SAHEBGANJ: Godda, largely known for Lalmatia coal mines of Eastern Coalfields Limited, which helps run two super-thermal power stations in Bihar and Bengal, has been facing serious problem of displacement due to land acquisition.
Even as the oustees clamour for compensation, there is another unrest brewing over the Jharkhand government’s approval to Adani Power Plant, intended to sell power to Bangladesh, which could add to the number of native oustees.
Sitting BJP MP Nishikant Dubey is facing the heat of such unrest this time, with his rival JVM candidate Pradeep Yadav leading the protests.
Dubey and Yadav are in direct contest, with the former banking on the development work the Centre has done. Yadav points to his failure in delivering the basics — drinking water, power cuts, lack of job opportunities due to which, people have to migrate to other cities and states, besides the issue of land acquisition, which he claims has made people outsiders in their own land.
“Even though Godda has been blessed with an airport, AIIMS and a railway line is also being laid down, some of the serious problems like displacement and pollution created by coal mines largely remain unaddressed,” said Birendra Mishra, a local. Most people are concerned about pollution due to mining activities, but no one is ready to take up the issue. “A majority suffer from asthma and allergy, but the issue is not raised politically,” said businessman Manoj Kumar.
In neighbouring Rajmahal, also a part of Santhal Parganas, infiltration by Bangaladeshis is a major issue, especially in Sahebganj. The BJP has been trying to make it an election issue, promising to send them back if it comes back to power.
The constituency has mostly seen triangular contests in the past. The Congress has won it eight times, JMM four times and BJP twice.