519 all-women, 14 disabled-operated booths in Jharkhand Phase IV polls

In Palamu, BJP’s Vishnu Dayal Ram, former DGP, is in direct contest with RJD’s Mamta Bhiyan.
519 all-women, 14 disabled-operated booths in Jharkhand Phase IV polls

RANCHI: Four Lok Sabha seats — Khunti, Palamu, Singhbhum and Palamu — will go to polls in Jharkhand on Monday. Out of 7595 polling booths, 519 will be all-women and 14 others will be operated by the disabled people.

Except Palamu, reserved for SCs, other three seats are reserved for STs. BJP is banking on development works done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whereas INDIA bloc candidates are raising local issues related to tribals and dalits.

Though BJP and INDIA bloc candidates are in direct contest in Singbhum, Khunti and Palamu, fight has become triangular in Lohardaga after JMM MLA from Bishunpur, Chamra Linda, turned rebel and filed nomination as an Independent. BJP has fielded Sameer Oraon against Congress’ Sudarshan Bhagat. Major issues in Lohardaga are lack of drinking water, mass migration of labourers to other states in search of employment and lack of health care facilities.

In Palamu, BJP’s Vishnu Dayal Ram, former DGP, is in direct contest with RJD’s Mamta Bhiyan. Ram is in the poll fray for the third term. Palamu has been witnessing famine-like situation for long due to which people are now dependent on free ration provided by government. According to an estimate, 80% of population in Palamu is dependent either on free ration or daily wage. RJD candidate Mamta Bhuiyan has tried to corner Ram on water crisis and problem of migration of people in search of employment. Ram is banking on the development works in the region during the last 10 years.

In Khunti, Union Minister Arjun Munda of BJP is in direct contest with Kalicharan Munda of Congress. Arjun Munda is talking about Modi’s guarantee and the work done by his government during the last 10 years. Kalicharan Munda is counting the benefits of Congress manifesto, promising Rs 1 lakh in the account of every poor woman and allowance to unemployed youth.

Singhbhum Lok Sabha seat for the first time is witnessing two women candidates in direct contest with each other. Sitting MP Geeta Koda is contesting as NDA candidate while sitting JMM’s MLA from Manharpur, Joba Manjhi has been fielded by INDIA bloc. It seems there is no wave this time as people on the roadside favours BJP, while JMM is stronger in the remote villages. Geeta Koda, wife of former Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda, is banking on the development works done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi while Joba Manjhi is trying to mobilize people on the issue tribal respect by raising the issue of former Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s arrest as an insult to the tribal community. Tribals here are said to be divided for the first time after JMM fielded a Santhal from the seat.

Geeta Koda, however, is said to have an edge over Manjhi as the constituency is primarily dominated by Ho community with almost 59 per cent out of a total of 61 per cent tribal population. Geeta Koda comes from Ho-community, Joba Manjhi on the other hand comes for Santhal community; and hence is trying to mobilize people on tribal sentiments.

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