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Long ties with RSS make seat key for BJP

Gilua was the BJP nominee from Singhbhum Lok Sabha seat, of which Chakradharpur assembly seat is a part, and he lost to Congress leader Geeta Koda. Now he is facing a challenge from both the JMM and AJSU.

, ET Bureau|
Dec 06, 2019, 06.48 AM IST
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Agencies
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BJP workers hope that the JMM’s decision to deny ticket to its sitting MLA would cost it in the polls.
CHAKRADHARPUR: Chakradharpur is especially significant among the 20 seats which will go to the polls on December 7, in the second phase of the Jharkhand assembly election, as former MP and BJP’s state president Laxman Gilua is contesting from here.

Gilua was the BJP nominee from Singhbhum Lok Sabha seat, of which Chakradharpur assembly seat is a part, and he lost to Congress leader Geeta Koda. Now he is facing a challenge from both the JMM and AJSU.

Chakradharpur seat was considered to be a bone of contention between the BJP and AJSU, both of which were eyeing this seat, before their alliance broke in the run-up to the assembly election.

While Gilua decided to contest from his home constituency, which he has represented earlier as well, the AJSU has fielded Ramlal Munda, who enjoys support of a large section of rural voters in the constituency. Munda was earlier with the JMM. He was unhappy with the party after being denied a ticket to contest from Chakradharpur in the 2014 assembly polls.

The JMM, which also enjoys considerable support among tribal voters in this seat, denied a ticket to its sitting MLA Shashibhushan Samad, who is now in the fray as the nominee of former CM Babulal Marandi-headed JVM.

Interestingly, the JMM’s nominee is Sukhram Oraon, who was with the BJP in the 2014 assembly polls. His wife Navmi Oraon was the BJP nominee for Chakradharpur seat in that election.

“Gilua’s fate depends on the BJP’s success in wooing tribal voters in rural areas. In rural parts, tribals generally support the JMM,” said Turam Biruli, a resident of Chakradharpur town. He said the BJP’s support base is in urban areas.

Chakradharpur is also the divisional headquarters under South Eastern Railway, which is why it has a sizeable population of railways employees. The town is also known for its old association with the RSS.

BJP workers hope that the JMM’s decision to deny ticket to its sitting MLA would cost it in the polls. “We hope that Samad, who is now the JVM’s nominee, will make a dent into the JMM’s tribal support base. It would be advantage BJP if he bags the votes of tribals,” a BJP worker, who was present in the party’s election office in Chakradharpur, told ET.
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