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BJP banks on Modi charisma to win Jharkhand seats
BJP banks on Modi charisma to win Jharkhand seats

Ranchi, April 25 (IANS) To retain Chatra, Palamau and Lohardaga Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand, going to the polls on April 29 in the fourth phase of the seven-phased 2019 elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is banking heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's charisma.

Given the political calculation and voters' dissatisfaction in the area, Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally in Lohardaga on April 24 sought vote in his name. "My government works for every section of the society without taking into consideration whether they go to temple, mosque, church or gurdawara," he said.

He also reminded voters that his government played a crucial role in the rescue of 44 Kerela nurses and a priest from Afghanistan.

"We are hopeful that Modi and Amit Shah's rally will have impact on voters and the party will win all the three seats again. Voters want Modi to become the Prime Minister again," BJP spokesperson Pradeep Sinha told IANS.

Amit Shah will address a rally in Chatra on Saturday, the last day of campaigning. 

In Chatra, the voter dissatisfaction and anger is palpable. They are upset that sitting MP Sunil Singh didn't visit them even once in the past five years. Such is the anger that instead of seeking votes, Singh is forced to seek apology. 

Even Chief Minister Raghubar Das has expressed regret to voters. According to sources, the BJP had put Singh's nomination on hold, but he secured ticket by using the Rajput lobby in the party.

However, Singh may retain the seat as the anti-BJP vote is likely to get divided between the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress. While the RJD has fielded Subhash Yadav, the Congress has nominated Manoj Yadav. 

In 2014, Singh had received 2,95,862 votes and Dheeraj Sahu of the Congress 1,17,836. The Jharkahnd Vikas Morcha-Prajantantrik (JVM-P) candidate Neelam Devi had garnered 1,04,176 votes. While Neelam Devi has joined the BJP, the JVM-P is supporting the Congress this time.

In Palamau, BJP sitting MP and former Jharkhand Director General of Police V.D. Ram is facing Ghuram Ram of the RJD. In 2014, the BJP candidate had received 4,76,513 votes and the RJD candidate 2,12,571 votes. V.D. Ram is considered a safe candidate as he kept in touch with people of the area by visiting the constituency regularly.

In Lohardaga, it's tough battle between the Congress and the BJP. In 2014, despite the Modi wave, BJP candidate Sudarsan Bhagat, now a central Minister, could win by a slim margin of around 6,000 votes. Bhagat had secured 2,26,666 votes and Rameshwar Oraon of the Congress 2,20,177 votes.

The Congress lost the seat as Chamra Linda, an Independent, secured more than 80,000 votes by cutting into the Congress vote base. The sizeable Christian population in Lohardaga, which backed Linda, is likely to support the Congress candidate.

The Congress is hopeful of winning both Lohardaga and Chatra seats. "The alliance will win all the three Lok Sabha seats. There is no impact of the Modi rally. Voters have made up their minds," Jharkhand Congress spokesperson Alok Dubey told IANS.

Interestingly, no central leader and known face of the Congress has campaigned in the area till now.

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