Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ferrargunj By-Polls: Referendum Against Congress


Zilla Parishad Member Constituency, Ferrargunj By-Polls
Referendum Against Congress

By Staff Reporter

In the by elections for Zilla Parishad Member, Ferrargunj, Gopal Das of the BJP defeated his nearest rival Cicilia Kujur of the INC by securing 2156 votes as against 1562 votes polled by Cicilia Kujur and 167 votes by the independent candidate Tamilarasan P.
Ferrargunj Zilla Parishad member constituency encompasses Ferrrargunj, Bindraban and Namunaghar Gram Panchayats with a sizeable 6500 electorates. 58% i.e. 3947 electorates exercised their franchise despite inclement weather. Out of the 28 Panchayat wards that constitute this seat Gopal Das comprehensively won 18 Panchayat wards. This constituency has a sizeable population of around 70% Ranchi Community origin and the rest comprising of Bengali, Bhatus, Malayalee, Tamil and other Pre-42 settlers.
Speaking to LoA a veteran Congress leader of the area was aghast with the by-poll result. He was of the opinion that Gopal Das could never have dreamt of such a result. The failure of the Congress Pradesh leadership in addressing the issues of common man has led to the poor showing of the Party. Inspite of a Pramukh and two sitting Pradhans in the Constituency, such a drubbing by the BJP does not augment well for the future of the Congress in the Islands. Lack of foresight and high handedness of the Pradesh leadership was clearly visible at all levels.
More than a BJP gain, it was an anti-Congress statement by the electorate. It was a referendum against the Congress party and no element of anti-incumbency factor was visible in the voting pattern as in all three Panchayats including Namunaghar Gram Panchayat, BJP candidate was far ahead of the Congress candidate.
Addressing the issues of Govt. Servants and leading various Unions do not translate into votes as these constitute only 4 % of the Islands electorate. Daily release of press notes in the administration's mouth piece on pre decided policy issues and taking credit for it do not go unnoticed by common masses as mere publicity stunts.
Local youths of the area who worked tirelessly to defeat the Congress in the areas were ecstatic with the results. This election for them was more of a chance to prove a point to the Congress with its pro-administration leaning that anti-people stand will reflect in the form of votes. Majority of these youths were supporters of the Congress in the last Panchayat elections but owing to large scale corruption and nepotism by the local Congress PRI's on assuming power switched sides. They were disillusioned with the Pradesh Congress leadership who never addressed their genuine issues and failed to look beyond the local PRI's supporting their appetite for loot.
Organizationally too the Congress has failed to manage issues at Ferrargunj. The prestigious Territorial Congress committee seat of Ferrargunj lies with an outsider who has no understanding of the area after rebellion of an elected member in the last PRI elections. Ferrargunj Block unit of the Congress also do not have a block president as the duly elected Block president too rebelled during last PRI elections. This election has dealt a blow to the credibility of Pradesh Congress Chief who represents Bharati Service Cooperative Society, Ferrargunj to the Board of A&N State Cooperative Bank Ltd as its Vice Chairman with his father as Chairman.
Common Ranchi community members when contacted as to why they voted against a candidate of their own community in such large numbers were firm and clear that the Congress has always taken them for a ride on the SC/ST issue and tsunami farmers submerged land issue. The bankruptcy of the party can be made out from the selection of the candidate. It is learnt that the lady who had failed the community on innumerable occasions in the past as their PRI representative was allotted a general seat with tacit support of a technocrat of Zilla Parishad, who has been under suspension for a long period.  There were many deserving candidates but this seat went too cheap sidelining the consensus of the local leadership by the Congress election committee.
Speaking to LoA local BJP leadership credited this win to the tireless campaigning by the local MP and its leadership who are more grounded and accessible to the common man than the opposition leadership. Free flow of liquor and other freebies could not save Congress this time, which is a good omen for the Islands.
This seat being bagged by the BJP gives an ominous sign of things to come in the near future. The top Congress leadership needs to mend their ways and get connected to the grass root masses.

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