J'khand ready for third phase polls

J'khand ready for third phase polls

Campaigning for the third and last phase of the Lok Sabha elections in Jharkhand has gained momentum, with leaders of different parties wooing the electorate.

The third phase will cover four seats - Dhanbad, Dumka, Rajmahal and Godda - April 24. The first two phases were held April 10 and 17 for five seats each.

Leaders of different parties have hit the campaign trail. Former BJP president Nitin Gadkari addressed rallies in the Dumka and Dhanbad constituencies on Friday.

Former chief minister and president of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) Babulal Marandi, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren, Chief Minister Hemant Soren and other leaders are trying their best to win maximum number of seats in Santhal Pargana region which is considered a JMM bastion.

Chief Minister Hemant Soren is addressing three to four rallies everyday. Dumka has turned into a prestigeous seat for both Shibu Soren and his son Hemant Soren.

Shibu Soren is challenged in his bastion by JVM-P president Marandi. Both are fighting poll against each after 16 years.

Dumka Lok Sabha seat had witnessed interesting fight in the past. The BJP had promoted Marandi as tribal leader and he became the chief minister when the state was carved out of Bihar in 2000.

Marandi was defeated by Soren in 1991 and 1996, but he defeated Shibu Soren in 1998 and Rupi Soren, wife of Shibu Soren, in 1999.

Again Marandi is fighting poll against Shibu Soren after 16 years. Marandi, a sitting MP from Koderma Lok Sabha seat, opted this time to fight from Dumka.

The Santhal pargana under which six districts falls constitutes three Lok sabha seat.
The Dumka seat result will also affect the parties prospect as the assembly poll is scheduled in November-December this year.

The political fate of Hemant Soren also depends on outcome of the Dumka seat. Hemant Soren is a legislator from Dumka and large number of JMM legislators come from Santhal pargana region.

Marandi is also addressing three to four rallies everyday to impress the voters.
United Progressive Alliance (UPA) partners like Congress and RJD are campaigning vigorously for the third phase of the poll.

BJP had won three of the seats, except Dumka, in the previous general elections.