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|November 23, 1998||
Triangular fight likely in Koderma
The ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal is banking on the sympathy wave in the Koderma assembly constituency, following the untimely death of sitting legislator and Minister of State for Mines Ramesh Yadav, but the Bharatiya Janata Party is cashing in on the Vananchal state issue and the Congress on the price rise.
Handicapped by the absence of star campaigner Laloo Prasad Yadav, now in judicial custody in connection with the multi-million fodder scam, the RJD has succeeded in gaining an initial edge over its political rivals in this constituency, poised to witness a triangular battle of ballots though 10 candidates will try their luck in the byelection on November 25.
The contest will be confined to BJP nominee Ramesh Singh, Congress candidate Umesh Chandera Agrawal and Ramesh Yadav's widow Annapurna Devi (RJD).
Both the Congress and BJP nominees, who had also contested the seat unsuccessfully earlier, were not residents of this area. The RJD candidate and her campaigners are using this fact to the fullest.
Annapurna Devi, though, has the advantage that her late husband had, contrary to expectations, backed the region become part of a new Jharkhand state.
Pro-Jharkhand forces, including the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (Soren), who have decided not to contest this seat have already announced their decision to support the candidate who could defeat the RJD for its stand opposing the creation of Jharkhand.
Prominent among others in the fray are Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Sohrab Khan Varsi and Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist nominee Uday Diwedi.
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