Four former chief ministers in poll fray in Jharkhand

March 31st, 2009 - 5:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Ranchi, March 31 (IANS) All the four chief ministers that Jharkhand has seen in the eight years since its formation have thrown their hats into the poll ring in these Lok Sabha elections.
Babulal Marandi, the state’s first chief minister and president of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P), is fighting the election from Koderma parliamentary constituency.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arjun Munda, who was the second chief minister, is fighting from Jamshedpur while his successor Madhu Koda is fighting as an independent candidate from Singhbhum.

The last chief minister, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) head Shibu Soren is fighting the Lok Sabha election from Dumka. He is also contesting the Jamatara assembly by-poll.

All four face a tough battle ahead. While Munda has to fend off a challenge from sitting JMM MP Suman Mahto and All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) leader Shailendra Mahto, Marandi is facing competition from BJP, JMM and Congress candidates.

“People have made up their mind to vote the BJP to power. The good governance by the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) is still fresh in the peoples’ minds and they know my government was toppled due to a conspiracy,” said Munda.

Countering the BJP leader’s claim, Marandi said: “People of Jharkhand are fed up with the NDA and UPA (United Progressive Alliance) in the state. The JVM-P will register a remarkable victory.”

Koda, who is fighting five-time MP Bagun Sumbarai of Congress, says the focus of his campaign will be development.

“Development will be the key issue of my election. As chief minister for two years I have done a lot of development work. People will consider that,” he said after filing nomination papers Monday.

While Marandi, Munda and Koda have already started hectic campaigning, Soren is confined to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi because of ill health. He is pitted against young BJP legislator Sunil Soren in Dumka Lok sabha seat.

Jharkhand goes to the polls April 16 and 23.

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