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Debutantes power their way into poll battle

Mahagama will vote in the fifth phase on December 20

By Antara Bose in Jamshedpur

  • Published 3.12.19, 2:18 AM
  • Updated 3.12.19, 2:18 AM
 Bullu Rani Singh
Bullu Rani Singh Telegraph picture

The Jharkhand Assembly elections have thrown up some first-time women candidates who are driven by the idea of bringing about a change. They don’t just think they might make a difference. They believe they will.

Hema Ghosh, 41, who is contesting from Jamshedpur West on an All India Trinamul Congress ticket, has made personal interaction with the voters an important part of her campaign. She is banking on secularism and development issues to bring about a change.

“I believe in meeting people personally and asking them about their problems. I have been getting a good response. My strategy is clear. People will have to believe in our Constitution and treat everyone as equal. Only then can we think of proper development. The political parties so far have only used people and polarised them in the name of religion. We have to come out of that trap,” Hema, who is a resident of Loco Colony near Tatanagar, said.

Hema has visited Mango, Kadma, Dimna Road and Sonari as part of her door-to-door campaign.

Asked whether Bengal chief minister and Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee would campaign for her, she said: “We have requested her, but she is so busy that we haven’t received any response yet. We are still trying.”

Contesting for the first time from Mahagama Assembly seat in Godda on a Congress ticket, Deepika Pandey Singh, 43, aims to solve the drinking water crisis, make education more accessible and ensure more jobs for local youths.

Mahagama will vote in the fifth phase on December 20.

Hema Ghosh, Deepika Pandey Singh and Varsha Gari
Hema Ghosh, Deepika Pandey Singh and Varsha Gari Telegraph picture

“The problem of drinking water can only be best understood by a woman because she is the one to deal with it daily. In Mahagama, most of the hand-pumps have gone dry and the people in power have done nothing about it. Also, my constituency is in dire need of good schools and colleges and jobs,” Deepika said.

“Women get around 15-20 per cent party tickets in elections. The percentage has to increase,” she said.

Ajsu Party nominee Bulu Rani Singh, 31, who has been a Zilla Parshad member for the past five years, will face BJP’s sitting MLA Menaka Sardar in Potka.

As a first-time candidate, she is prioritising higher education, access to clean drinking water, irrigation and clean air.

“Most of Potka consists of rural areas and we aren’t getting to meet anyone at home in the afternoon because it is the harvest season. So we are organising sabhas (meetings) after 4.30pm,” said Bulu Rani.

Varsha Gari, 37, who is contesting from the Ranchi Assembly seat as an Ajsu Party candidate, has her priorities set. She would focus on slum development, management of traffic system and empowering women by creating entrepreneurial groups.

“I think more women should join politics because I believe they can manage a state better,” Gari said.