RANCHI: Ranchi, known as cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s home city— has unmistakably been Saffron hued politically for close to two decades and its denizens complain of the traffic snarls, the congested streets and lack of employ. They also complain that ‘none of the MP’s’ they elected, ever cared.
However, the lotus is in for a sharp challenge this time more so from its own five-time MP Ram Tahal Choudhary, who has turned a rebel and spoilt the equation.
The BJP faces a determined Congress challenge too from the redoubtable veteran Subodh Kant Sahay, a former Union minister even as Tahal’s Kurmi vote base numbering over 4.5 lakh is set to split heavily and affect the BJP debutant Sanjay Seth, a noted businessman.“Sanjay Seth is supposed to be close to CM Raghubar Das but was never been an active politician. He is dwarfed by Sahay who kept to the ground, reviving people’s connect despite losing in 2014 to Ram Tahal,” said Prajeet Charan, a local.
“Seth has to rely on Modi magic and the latter’s achievements at the Centre over the last five years to win Ranchi,” he added.Sahay, a seasoned politician, is banking on his field work during the last five years and has also been raising local issues to woo the voters. Promising green and clean city to the people, Sahay claims that the ‘visionless BJP government’ has messed up with Ranchi in the name of development and has converted it into an urban slum.
Sahay, who is also popularly known as ‘Subodh Bhaiya’, has an edge over the BJP candidate since he had hit the roads early to interact with over 16 lakh voters in six assembly segments - namely Ranchi, Hatia, Silli, Khijri, Ichagarh and Kanke, even before the candidature of Sanjay Seth was announced. Since Sahay is a candidate of Mahagathbandhan, he also enjoys support of JMM, RJD and left parties which have good presence.
Choudhary and Sahay have been age-old rivals in Ranchi. Chaudhary first won from Ranchi in 1991 defeating Subodh Kant Sahay and retained the seat till 2004, before losing to Sahay for two terms. In 2014, Choudhary again defeated Sahay by 1.99 lakh votes.