Jharkhand polls: Family members turn foes

Ranchi: As Jharkhand goes to polls in the first phase on November 30, there are at least three Assembly seats where family members have turned foes and are standing on the opposite side of the political spectrum, trying to trump each other.

The Mandu assembly seat, which falls in Ramgarh district, is witnessing a peculiar contest with three brothers contesting from rival political parties. The sitting MLA Jai Prakashbhai Patel, who was elected on a JMM ticket in 2014, is fighting on a BJP ticket this time as he switched side just ahead of elections. He is the son of JMM veteran late Teklal Mahto.

This prompted JMM to field Prakashbhai’s own brother, Ram Prakash Patel from the same seat, while their cousin Chandranath Patel is contesting from Jharkahnd Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P).

“My father was a dedicated JMM leader. We want to carry forward his legacy,” said Ram Prakash patel.

Another interesting fight is taking place in Garwah constituency, where husband and wife are contesting against each other.

Also Read: Man Kills 5 Family Members In Koderma, Jharkhand

“I was preparing to fight assembly polls for the last four years. When I decided to file nomination papers, my wife also expressed her desire to contest. Both of us have filed nomination papers and are campaigning separately,” said Manish Kumar, husband of Priyanka.

The most interesting fight however is at Jharia assembly seat, where wives of two warring cousins are fighting against each. Both belong to the same family, though they have fallen out with each other.

The BJP has fielded Ragini Singh from Jharia, replacing her husband Sanjeev Singh who is an accused in the murder of former Dhanbad deputy mayor Neeraj Singh. She is facing her sister-in-law Purnima Singh of the Congress, the widow of the slain Neeraj Singh, who was the cousin of Sanjeev Singh.

When asked about facing her sister-in-law, Ragini said, “it’s not an issue as the people of Jharia have faith in the Singh Mansion, especially in Kunti Singh.”

Sanjeev Singh had defeated Neeraj Singh by a margin of 33,661 votes in the 2014 Assembly elections.

Neeraj Singh, the nephew of the dreaded coal mafia Surya Dev Singh, was shot dead along with his three gunmen on a busy street near Dhanbad’s Steel Gate area under the Saraidhela police station in 2017.

The internecine war between the two political families has been going on for several decades. Sanjiv Singh lives in Singh Mansion of coal city Dhanbad and he belongs to Surya Dev Singh family also.

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