Top leaders address rallies in Jharkhand as campaigning ends

Ranchi, Nov 23 ( Rajnath Singh, Lalu Prasad and Shibu Soren were among the top leaders of political parties who hit the campaign trail Monday as the campaigning ended for the first phase of assembly polls Wednesday.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh, who addressed a public rally in Ranchi, said the Liberhan Commission report on the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition had been deliberately leaked to the media to polarise voters in the forthcoming Jharkhand assembly polls.

“The Liberhan report has been selectively leaked by the Congress-led government to polarise the votes in the Jharkhand assembly elections. People will teach a lesson to the Congress in the polls,” Rajnath Singh said.

While Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad campaigned in Jamshedpur and Ranchi, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren addressed rallies at Nala and other constituencies of the Santhal pargana region.

To lure the voters, the Congress brought out an advertisement in local newspapers saying “Rs.30,000 insurance by paying Rs.10 and cheaper food grains to poor people”.

Former chief minister and BJP Lok Sabha MP Arjun Munda and senior BJP leader Yashwant also hit the campaign trail.

Jharkhand Congress in-charge Kesav Rao and central Food Processing Minister Subodh Kant Sahay were also in the state. Sahay sought votes for the party nominee in Ranchi and Hatia assembly seats, and Rao was monitoring the party’s campaign and poll preparations.

The five-phase assembly poll for the total 81 seats begins from Nov 25 (Wednesday). In the first phase, there are 470 candidates in the poll fray. The candidates include four former ministers, six former Lok Sabha MPs and the last assembly’s speaker Aalamgir Aalam.

In the first phase, polling will take place in 26 assembly constituencies, in the second phase 15 constituencies will go to polls and in the third phase, voting will take place for 11 seats. In the fourth and fifth phases, polling will take place for 14 and 15 assembly seats, respectively.

The polling dates are – Nov 25, Dec 2, Dec 8, Dec 12 and Dec 18. Counting will take place Dec 23.

There are a total 18,027,476 eligible electors who will vote at 23,944 polling stations in the 81 assembly constituencies.