Monday, December 11, 2023

Jamshedpur: Poll fever yet to reach crescendo, pulse difficult to gauge

Mail News Service

Jamshedpur, April 14: The poll fever is yet to reach its crescendo. The pulse of voters is difficult to gauge as none except leaders of various parties in the fray for the Jamshedpur seat, are yet sure which EVM button to press at the polling booths. People may go with the saffron tide or may not but the parties and their candidates are exuding confidence over that vital parliamentary ticket from the Lok Sabha Jamshedpur constituency. But the candidates themselves are yet to file their nominations for the voting to be held here on May 12.

Thus far, the names of two candidates have been declared for the Jamshedpur Lok Sabha seat. BJP is banking on Bidyut Baran Mahto to cast his magic spell as he did at the hustings of 2014 while the Grand Alliance partner, JMM is aiming to dethrone the current parliamentarian with senior, popular and former Transport Minister Champai Soren.

Though both parties and both candidates are displaying flamboyant attitudes of confidence for putting their seals on the Jamshedpur throne, perhaps internally, they may be a wee bit shaky; yet one never knows which way they will make the political tides turn. The voters of course are not shaky but definitely, at least to some extent, are a bit confused. Every political party, ruling or combined, is promising the king makers the moon and beyond but the voters who have been bitten on several occasions are not quite that shy. They may not have got the moon and stars but they did get to see reflections on puddles of dirty water that often clog after torrential rains of disappointment.

Bidyut Baran Mahto, the current MP from the Jamshedpur constituency does have his credentials. He has a large segment of fan following because of quite a few positive undertakings of his. The introduction of the train to Jaipur in the South Eastern railway sphere, attachment of a pantry car in the long distance Jallianwala Bagh Express, clearance of encroached space near the Jugsalai rail crossing for convenience of construction of a flyover to ease congestion are but a few of his many other constructive deeds and pursuits that have marked his five year tenure as people�s representative in Parliament. Being a son of the soil, his support base in rural areas, contrary to expectations and beliefs, is not shallow either. Villagers in many Panchayats of the Jamshedpur constituency, support this unassuming, mild mannered and soft spoken BJP candidate.

As the hope of the Grand Alliance team, JMM veteran and popular leader Champai Soren will not be easy meat for the saffron brigade. Champai knows the pulse of his support base. JMM has a well established network in rural climes as well in the urban sphere but not enough to enhance confidence. JMM has to sweat it out to gain the confidence of urban voters here to make a fight of it. Yes, the JMM will make the BJP run for its money in rural areas that have seen the growth and contributed to the rise of this party. Party supremo Dishom Guru Shibu Soren is not yet a spent force and can raise many more descendents of the mythological phoenix whenever and wherever he gives his �call to arms.�

Only one confirmation of the parliamentary bull-fight is apparent. It will be a BJP-JMM tussle blowing away all other contenders, if any, from under the parliamentary sun. BJP somehow, seemingly has an upper hand because its candidate, Bidyut Baran Mahto has work to show and he belongs to NDA fold both, at the state level and the Centre. Champai Soren may have worked in rural areas and captured more than a few hearts but he has hardly any glittering political achievements to brandish for his dedication to people�s causes.

Either way, it will be a battle of giants for the Jamshedpur seat and the supremacy will be enigmatically sealed in the EVMs for exposure on May 23. Will the political motivation tread the up with the appearance of Hema Malini and Smriti Irani for the BJP or will Shatrughan Sinha and Nagma provide that quirk in political fate for team �Grand Alliance?�

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