Jamshedpur: With the countdown having begun for polling in Jamshedpur Lok Sabha constituency tomorrow, the one of the most developed cities in the state is set to witness a close fight having a national level party striving to gain power at the Centre on one side and two prominent candidates, one of whom is waiting for the mandate of the people on his performance in his short-lived tenure.
Notwithstanding the political hullaballoo which subsided with the end of election campaigning for the second phase, it is going to be a direct contest between the Bharatiya Janata Party, which is riding the ‘Modi wave’ and others.
The other contestants chiefly include Dr Ajoy Kumar, former IPS officer and the sitting MP of Jamshedpur, who is contesting on a Jharkhand Vikas Morcha ticket, and Niroop Mohanty of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. Mohanty, a former Tata Steel VP, turned out to be a surprise choice of JMM, which enjoys a considerable foothold in the state.
While for the BJP, its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi himself will be a force to reckon with in the polls, for Dr Ajoy it will be the result of his performance as the representative of the constituency in the Lower House of the People.
Niroop Mohanty, although a first-timer, belongs to the category of the sophisticated and educated urban candidate having no negative tag as such to go against him. Despite all factors, the result of the contest is under suspense as the balance of majority votes may tilt on any side.
However, as for the BJP candidate and Dr Ajoy, both the Modi and performance (of Dr Ajoy as MP) factors will influence the two rivals mutually and give them a tough time while taking their acid test in the polls.
Adding to the Narendra Modi effect will be the hard work being put in by the Jharkhand BJP leaders, especially former Chief Minister Arjun Munda, who has been going all-out campaigning in favour of BJP candidate from Jamshedpur, Vidyut Varan Mahato. It is going to be a prestige issue for Munda both within the party and his political career.
Vidyut Varan Mahato, former Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader and MLA of Baharagora, will definitely reap the benefits trickling down to each of the party candidates all over the country as a result of Modi’s wave and of course, the anti-incumbency factor.
Poll pundits say the benefits of Modi effect will be gained by the party irrespective of who is representing the BJP in the fray. Mahato is expected to pull a good number of Kurmi votes which have been traditionally the decisive factor in Lok Sabha polls held in Jamshedpur since a long time.
No matter how confident may Jharkhand Vikas Morcha leaders be about the Jamshedpur seat, their candidate will have to tide over the Modi wave. The situation is much the same with other candidates including Niroop Mohanty, who will however gain from JMM’s traditional supporters in Chhota Nagpur and Santhal Paragana.
In fact, the anti-incumbency factor, choice of a national party at the Centre and the local development and other community-based issues will play vital role in shaping the individual voter’s mind here.
The choices may be tricky and contradictory, but the voter has to make a choice after all to make sure that his thumb impression speaks for them and delegates the power to the right candidate.