By Goutam Shankar Das So, by the time you get to read this piece of print, you would have wished and been wished a billion ‘Happy New Year’ slogans or whatever you call them. Like all other preceding years, 2019 too passed into history with many golden moments and dark patches to gloat over in […]
Mail News Service
Jamshedpur, Dec 8: All eyes and ears are trained on the Ichagarh Assembly constituency as it goes to polls in the third phase on Thursday, December 12. This has been a regular feature as the mood swings of the electorate here make guesses, predictions and convictions difficult to arrive at. This has been the trend since the undivided Bihar Assembly elections of 1990. Prior to that year, the elections were the sole domain of princely candidates. In the 1990 Assembly polls of undivided Bihar Prince Prabhat Kumar Adityadev suffered a defeat and since then, the royal family has distanced itself from the political arena.
The 1995 hustings round wrung in a change when big political leaders entered the field for a toss of the coin of political possibilities. Among the big names that featured in that election were Freedom Fighter on a Congress ticket Dhananjay Mahto, hi-profile BJP leader Hikim Mahto, Jamshedpur’s present parliamentarian then on a JMM (Mardi) ticket Bidyut Baran Mahto, former parliamentarian Sunil Mahto of Janata Dal, former deputy chief minister Sudhir Mahto, former legislator Arvind Kumar Singh alias Malkhan Singh among others. Arvind Kumar Singh was the new face in the Ichagarh Assembly setup.
It was new boy up the legislative street, Arvind Kumar Singh alias Malkhan Singh who emerged victorious as an Independent candidate dwarfing the challenges of battle scarred politicians in the Assembly battle of 1995 in undivided Bihar. Later Sunil Mahto and Bidyut Baran Mahto were elected to Parliament. Sudhir Mahto too became the Deputy Chief Minister of Jharkhand. But all this happened in subsequent elections. Meanwhile, after being elected a member of the Legislative Assembly of Bihar in 1995, Arvind Singh was elected as a BJP candidate in the Jharkhand Assembly contest of 2000 and then again in 2009 this time on a JVM boat.
The Ichagarh constituency that goes to polls on December 12 has many new faces with the exception of the 1995 ‘kid’ now a popular and veteran political player featuring this year once again as an independent candidate. Among the leaders of the 1995 Assembly ballot battle, Dhananjay Mahto, Sunil Mahto and Sudhir Mahto have moved over to eternity while Hikim Chandra Mahto has retired from politics. Bidyut Baran Mahto has shifted base from Ichagarh leaving Arvind Singh as the veteran of the Assembly tag-fight.
History has proven time and again that Ichagarh has remained among the hot seats in the Assembly contests. All Jharkhand eyes are on this take off base for the Ranchi dome of power. Every election here has an air of Hitchcockian suspense. The mood of the voters of Ichagarh constituency is different from those of others. The people of Ichagarh demand development and change for the better, a demand that has felled many a veteran.
The Ichagarh constituency will see independent candidate Arvind Kumar Singh alias Malkhan Singh, BJP’s sitting MLA Sadhu Charan Mahto, JMM candidate Savita Mahto wife of late Sudhir Mahto and AJSU Party’s Hare Lal Mahto fighting tooth and nail for a place under th Assembly sun. It is going to be a tough battle. No candidate can afford to take things for granted. Well, certainly not the Ichagarh contestants.