Ahead of the bypolls in two assembly constituencies in the state, the opposition has raised the ‘local’ issue with a state-wide bandh call on Saturday. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has given the call, which is being supported by Congress and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) and some social organisations.
The police have made elaborate arrangements to deal with any untoward situation.
On Friday, the JMM took “mashal procession” at several places in the state, including Ranchi, Khunti and Bokaro. The police kept a vigil on the procession.
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Earlier, the JMM alleged that the police were forcing its leaders to write bonds that they would not indulge in any sort of violence or try to get forcible closure of establishments.
“Strict vigil is being maintained. We have made adequate arrangements to deal with anybody taking law into their hands. Additional forces, wherever required, have been deployed. Instructions have been to issued to stake strict action against trouble makers,” said a senior police officer, overseeing the preparations.
Godda and Panki assembly constituencies go to polls on May 16. The two constituencies have been kept free from the bandh call, even as top leaders – including RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav and others — from both the sides are expected to address election rallies on what would be the last day of canvassing.
On the other hand, the BJP has written a memorandum to the Election Commission requesting it to depute additional forces on at least 120-odd booths in Godda and 160 booths in Panki, accusing the opposition parties of deploying anti-social elements there to drive voters.
“The supporters of these parties (RJD and JD (U)) are camping in these constituencies trying to create an atmosphere of fear in a bid to drive voters away. We have requested the Election Commission to take adequate steps in the matter,” said State BJP spokesperson Prem Mittal.
The polls were necessitated following deaths of Raghunandan Prasad (BJP MLA) in Godda and Bidesh Singh (Congress MLA) in Panki earlier this year.