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Seeking return to glory

- OLD TURF, NEW TEAM

It’s a new “innings” and new team for Chandrashekhar Dubey alias Dadai Dubey. At age 71, Dadai left Congress to join Trinamul Congress (TMC), which Jharkhand only knows as Mamata Banerjee’s party in Bengal.

But if Bengal chief minister Mamata has fielded Dadai from Dhanbad, it is not without a very good reason.

Dadai had been the sitting MP in Dhanbad from 2004-09.

In 2009, BJP’s P.N. Singh defeated Dadai by a margin of 57,000 votes, not insurmountable by any standards, making the former Congressman-turned-TMC convert a force to reckon with in the coal belt. Now, the Vishrampur MLA and veteran trade union leader is trying his luck as Dhanbad MP again.

His conversion to Mamata’s party is complete, going by his bitter vitriol against former colleague, Union minister Jairam Ramesh. “He’s a corporate lobbyist for the Congress,” Dadai fumed on Monday before hitting the campaign trail. “He is not a ground leader. I wonder why they (Congress) sent him (Ramesh) to campaign in Dhanbad where he has no mass appeal. His claims of development in Jharkhand are plain lies. The Congress won’t win a single seat in Jharkhand this time.”

Dadai also dismissed sitting MP Singh: “Paanch varshon mein unki koi uplabdhi nahin hai (He has no achievement in five years).” On his own top agenda, he said: “Paani, bijli aur safai (water, power and sanitation).”

Dadai is making hectic trips across all six Assembly segments that make up Dhanbad Lok Sabha seat — Dhanbad, Jharia, Sindri, Nirsa, Bokaro and Chandankyari. His has been the most starry campaign — from Mamata herself to Bollywood star Mithun Chakraborty and Indian Idol reality star Puja Chatterjee — rooting for him.

Dadai began his campaign on Monday by offering chadar at a dargah near Railway Club, Dhanbad, before proceeding towards Lodna colliery area. He spoke to coal workers living in underground fire-hit areas. Later, he went to Bhaga and nearby areas and Nirsa’s Shivlibari.


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