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Giridih witnesses contest on local Vs outsider issue

| | Ranchi
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Giridih witnesses contest on local Vs outsider issue

Thursday, 09 May 2019 | Mrituanjay Kumar | Ranchi

Giridih Parliamentary constituency came into existence in 1962, after which Swantantra Party candidate Bateshwar Singh became MP for first time. Since its existence the seat has witnessed 14 Lok Sabha elections, with Congress winning the seat four times, BJP for six times and JMM thrice. Former Chief Minister of Bihar late Bindeshwari Dubey won the seat in 1980 on the ticket of Congress Party and founding figure of Jharkhand movement late Binod Bihari Mahto won the seat in 1991.

As many as 16, 29, 387 voters would cast votes in 2019 elections in which 8,67,985 are male voters and 7,59,915 female voters. A total of 15 candidates are in fray from the seat this time which includes two women candidates contesting the election for first time Giridih since its existence.

The Lok Sabha seat is spread in three districts—Dhanbad, Bokaro and Giridih.  Out of six assembly segments under the Giridih Lok Sabha, Tundi and Baghmara comes under Dhanbad district, Bermo and Gomia under Bokaro while the remaining two Giridih and Dumari comes under Giridih district.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, BJP candidate Ravindra Kumar Pandey won the seat by margin of over 40,000 votes. He defeated JMM candidate Jagarnath Mahto. Pandey had received 3,91,913 votes while Mahto had secured 3,51,600 votes. Prior to 2014 election, Pandey had won the seat in 1996, 98, 99, 2009, 2014 and he is first MP from the seat who won the seat twice in a row. The voter turnout figure was at 64.25 per cent across 1905 booths. There are several issues in the constituency such as illegal mining in coal belt Bermo assembly constituency. The area also has two thermal power stations of Damodar Valley Corporation at Chandrapura and Bokaro Thermal, but the thermal power stations are in poor condition. Bermo also is home town of sitting MP Ravindra Pandey and INTUC General Secretary and senior Congress leader, Rajendra Prasad Singh. This area dominated by mostly Mahto, minorities and outsiders who settled in the area for job and employment.

Gomia assembly area houses famous Indian Explosive Factory at Gomia, Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Limited Plant situated at Lalpania and Tenughat Dam. Dumri and Giridih assembly constituencies are affected with Left Wing Extremism (LWE). Baghmara is another coal mine dominated area and illegal coal mining is one of the major issues here and Tundi is largely dominated by Mahto and Minorities and it is less developed than Baghmara because it is rural area and people’s main livelihood is agriculture.

Giridih Parliamentary seat since its inception for first time is witnessing fight between two regional parties as both national parties Congress and BJP have supported candidates from their regional ally partners. The JMM has fielded its Dumri MLA, Jagarnath Mahto while BJP ally partner AJSU has fielded drinking water and sanitation Minister, Chandra Prakash Chaudhary. Both the candidates are campaigning fiercely and not leaving a single area untouched.  Both the candidates comes from Mahto community which has sizeable presence. While, Choudhary is wooing voters on the developmental works initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mahto is trying to capitalize his image as local leader. Chaudhary belongs from neighboring Ramgarh district. Several star campaigners of the NDA have visited the area in support of Choudhary, while JMM executive president and former Chief Minister, Hemant Soren is camping in the area soliciting support of Mahto.

According to the sources there is neck and neck contest. Some people are saying that Chaudhary is not getting support of BJP cadres and sitting MP Pandey as some days earlier he announced that he will contest the seat independently after denial of his ticket. The seat despite being BJP bastion has remained JMM stronghold too, adding to JMM is Congress presence in Bermo, Gomia and Baghamara.

Out of six State Assembly constituencies, BJP lawmakers represent - Giridih, Bermo and Baghmara while JMM have two MLAs from Gomia and Dumari while Tundi is represented by AJSU party.

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