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Jharkhand: Congress's Sukhdev Bhagat files nomination from Lohardaga

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Gumla, Apr 25 (PTI) Former Jharkhand Congress president Sukhdev Bhagat on Thursday filed his nomination for the Lohardaga Lok Sabha seat and claimed that he would win the elections by a margin of 1 lakh votes.

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The Congress is fighting the Lohardaga as per its seat-sharing agreement with the JMM. However, JMM's Bishnupur MLA Chamra Linda filed nomination papers as an Independent candidate for the seat on Wednesday.

"Chamra Linda is like my younger brother. It was an impulsive decision by him. There is time and I think he will use discretion and support the INDIA bloc," Bhagat told PTI.

He said Linda should understand that the coalition was fighting for tribal identity and to save democracy and the Constitution.

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"There is a religious identity for every community in India, but there is no column for tribal religion, which is Sarna, in the Census. A resolution was passed by the Jharkhand assembly for the Sarna code but it is stuck with the central government," Bhagat said.

"Now, the BJP wants to abolish the tribal customary law by bringing the Uniform Civil Code. So, it is important for all to root out the BJP government from the Centre," he added.

Bhagat alleged the BJP government works for corporate and not the people.

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"There is no price rise, unemployment and women security in the dictionary of the BJP government. On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi is concerned about every section of the society," he claimed.

He was defeated by BJP's Sudarshan Bhagat by a narrow margin of 10,363 votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. This time, the BJP has fielded Rajya Sabha MP Samir Oraon, who filed his nomination on Wednesday.

"My victory is certain and hopefully, I will win by a margin of more than 1 lakh votes," the Congress leader said.

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After Bhagat filed the nomination papers, he attended a public meeting at the Town Hall in Gumla. The rally was addressed by Chief Minister Champai Soren, state Congress president Rajesh Thakur and the party's in-charge for Jharkhand Ghulam Ahmad Mir.

The Lohardaga Lok Sabha constituency will go to the polls on May 13 along with Singhbum, Khunti and Palamu.

The nomination process for the four seats concluded on Thursday, and the last date for the withdrawal of nominations is April 29. PTI SAN SAN SOM

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