Sunday, November 29, 2009

Azhar, others draw large crowds despite Red bandh

Divy Khare, TNN 30 November 2009, 06:48am ISTText Size:|Topics:Jharkhand

BOKARO (GOMIA): The Maoist bandh on Sunday did not deter prominent political leaders and star campaigners from visiting the Maoist-affected Gomia constituency to stump for their party candidates. Remarkably, people forget all about the Maoist bandh and came out of their houses to listen to what the politicians had to say.

Not surprisingly, cricketer-turned-politician Mohammad Azharuddin on his maiden visit here as a political leader succeeded in drawing a huge crowd. People from far-flung areas throng the meeting venue in Gomia to see and hear him. Accompanied by Union minister Subodh Kant Sahay, Azhar was mobbed by local residents, particularly the youths, for his autographs which he signed without a fuss. The crowd too was happy to get what they wanted from one of their favorite cricketing heroes.

Similarly, the election rallies of JVM chief Babulal Marandi at Kasmar and BJP president Rajnath Singh at Petarwar also attracted large crowds.

This, in fcat, was quite unusual during a Maoist-sponsored bandh. While shops in most of areas remained opened, commercial vehicles were also on the roads. The situation appeared normal even after the Maoists triggered a blast on railway tracks between Daniya and Jageshwar Vihar railway stations in the constituency.

With the Red threat failing to keep the people indoors, Azharuddin wooed the voters by promising to return to Gomia and play cricket with the youths here, with a rider, though. "The voters of Gomia must elect the Congress candidate," Azhar said.

Like a veteran politican, the former Team India batsman who during his hey days charmed cricket world with his wristy batting, asked the people, particularly the youths, to vote for the Congress to fulfil AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi's dreams.

BJP president Rajnath Singh during his campaigning said it was not easy for Koda to digest Rs 4,000 rupees which he earned from corruption.

"If the BJP comes in power, it will ensure that the money swindled during Madhu Koda's tenure as CM was brought back to the state," he said.

Marandi, on his part, promised the people to conduct panchayat elections soon if Congress-JVM forms a government in the state.

He said it was unfortunate that politicians in Jharkhand did not do anything to develop the state.

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