Amid speculations of elections to the Jharkhand assembly being announced soon, congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi commenced his two-day visit to the state on Wednesday from the tribal-majority district of Sahebganj. Many of the areas he is visiting are under a strong Maoist influence.
Gandhi’s visit started as he attended an Adivasi Yuba Sammelan (AYS) in Sahebganj. From here, he is scheduled to move to Dumka district, situated nearly 500 km from Ranchi. Both Sahebganj and Dumka are tribal-majority districts.
As per programme, Gandhi will visit Dhanbad and Hazaribagh districts at noon and will arrive in Ranchi in the evening.
With the exception of Sahebganj, all these districts have a sizeable presence of Maoist guerrillas.
On Thursday, Gandhi will attend a dalit convention at Chatra and an AYS in Singhbhum district. They are among the worst Maoist-affected districts in Jharkhand. Chatra has been included in the central government’s pilot project to fight Maoist guerrillas.
It may be noted that Gandhi’s visit to the state is taking place at a time when elections to the state assembly are to be held by the end of the year. Many believe that his visit is aimed at impressing upon tribals and dalits of the state who form a chunk of the population. Jharkhand has been under president’s rule since January.