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Sanitation worker’s seventh try for poll glory
- Mobin Khan files nomination again, claims solid supporter base in steel city hot seat

An obsession dampened by reason is no obsession at all.

Mobin Khan, who enjoys the rare reputation of contesting four Lok Sabha and two Assembly elections, and losing security deposits on all occasions, filed his nomination for the Jamshedpur constituency at the district collectorate on Thursday.

A Jusco employee and resident of Luka Road in Sakchi, 54-year-old Khan is the first candidate to have filed nomination for the steel city hot seat so far.

Looking every inch a neta in white kurta-pyjama a marigold garland curling up his neck, Khan said he was glad that the Election Commission, in a bid to ward off “non-serious” candidates, had raised the security deposit for contesting polls from Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000.

“A long list of candidates confuses the electorate, especially elderly and rural voters who cannot decided which button to press. In fact, I would want the deposit to be made Rs 50,000 from next parliamentary polls,” he said.

Coming from someone who has forfeited his deposit on six occasions, this may indeed sound eccentric.

But, Khan — who has studied till intermediate and claims to draw a salary of over Rs 35,000 for his services as a sanitary assistant at Jusco’s public health department — says he has a loyal vote bank.

Main chunav seriously ladhta hoon, majak ke liye nahin. Mere apne supporters hain jo mere liye dua karte aur har chunav mein support karte hain. Iss baar mera pura bharosa hai ki acha result hoga (I fight elections seriously. I have my set of well-wishers who have supported me in the past. I am sure of a good result this time),” he said.

Khan had contested the 2011 by-election for Jamshedpur with the symbol of a cup and saucer. He was in the fray for the Lok Sabha seat in in 2004, 2007 and 2009. He tried his luck at the 2005 and 2009 Assembly polls from Jamshedpur West too.

Asked about his manifesto, Khan replied: “Jamshedpur mazdooron ka shahar hai aur main bhi ek mazdoor hoon. Isliye unke problems samajhta hoon. Isi agenda ko lekar chunav prachar karunga. (Jamshedpur is an industrial city inhabited mostly by the working class and I can understand their problems because I too am a worker),” the father of three said.

Khan may be confident of being seventh time lucky, but are voters?

“Candidates like Mobin Khan have no future in today’s politics. It is true that Jamshedpur is an industrial city with a large population of workers, but representation of mazdoors on such a small scale will not serve any purpose. Candidates like him do not have even a slim chance in modern-day elections where use of money power is rampant,” said Amitabh Ghosh, state secretary of Dena Bank Employees’ Union.


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