Union Home Minister and BJP President Amit Shah has kick-started his election campaign for the Jharkhand assembly election from Manika in Latehar district. While addressing a public meeting, Shah said that within one month of assuming power for the second tenure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi scrapped Article 370 in J&K, and also reminded the people that Ram Temple would be constructed in Ayodhya after the Supreme Court judgment.
Apart from this, Shah also tried to woo the tribals which constitute around 26 percent of Jharkhand's population. He also sent a message to the backward community as to how Modi is concerned about their development and has formed a National Backward Commission. Shah also took a pot shot at Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party for their failure to develop the state of Jharkhand and reminded him of 70 years of Congress rule vis-a-vis 5 years of BJP rule. He appealed to the voters to vote for BJP and ensure the formation of a double engine govt of BJP led by PM Modi.
The Union Home Minister said, "Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar by then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Jharkhand has a lot of natural resources and it has the potential of running the expense of the country. Raghubar Das has taken Jharkhand on the path of development. Narendra Modi is concerned about the development of Jharkhand. But the previous Congress governments in Jharkhand looted the state. We provided the gas connections and roads. Modi Ji's government has taken care of the upliftment of backward castes and tribals".
"I want to tell Hemant Soren that he is contesting elections along with Congress party which has betrayed the tribals. And I want to ask Rahul Gandhi what has he done for tribals? Narendra Modi government has granted Rs 32,000 crore for tribal welfare. Raghubar Das has curbed Naxalism from Government. Narendra Modi has given more than 3 lakh crore for the development of Jharkhand. Within one month of assuming power, we scrapped Article 370 which the Congress used for vote-bank politics. Supreme Court also gave a historical judgment by paving the way for the construction of Ram Temple," Shah added.
Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das also spoke about the development undertaken by his government, but more emphasis was made on the achievements of the Narendra Modi government.
Raghubar Das said that "the state government is headed by Modi. Ever since the state came into inception, there was political instability in Jharkhand for 14 out of the 19 years. In the past 5 years, the double engine government in Jharkhand has eliminated the Naxalism. We have developed the state on all fronts including roads, electricity, water and fulfilled the vision of PM Modi."
Both Union Home Minister and the Jharkhand CM claimed that left-wing extremists (Naxals) have been eliminated from Jharkhand, but in a press conference in Ranchi on Thursday, the Chief Election Commissioner, Naveen Arora said, "As per the govt of India records, 16 out of the 24 districts in Jharkhand are Naxal affected, that's why elections are being held in phases".
In the 2014 assembly election, Jharkhand went to the polls under the leadership of PM Modi and in the 2019 assembly election as well, both Amit Shah and Raghubar Das are banking on the charisma of PM Modi to sail through. In 2014, BJP had won 37 seats and this election they have parted ways with their 19-year-old alliance partner AJSU, after both the parties couldn't reach an agreement on seat sharing.
The major worry for the BJP is the anti-incumbency of Raghubar Das government and also that Das himself is locked in a keen contest with his former minister and BJP rebel candidate, Saryu Rai from Jamshedpur East. Rai has been casting aspersions on Raghubar Das for being involved in corrupt practices and has called him "Raghuvar DAAG". On the other hand, the JMM-Congress-RJD combine is giving a tough challenge to the BJP. Jharkhand goes to polls in 5 phases from November 30.