The Telegraph
Saturday , August 30 , 2014
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Cong heavyweight raises BJP hopes
- Former Sarath MLA Chunna joins party

Ranchi, Aug. 29: The state BJP today welcomed four-time Sarath MLA and Congress leader Uday Shankar Singh, alias Chunna Singh, thus firming up its base in the so far unshakeable JMM bastion of Santhal Pargana ahead of the Assembly elections.

With hundreds of supporters in toe, Singh joined the BJP at its Ranchi headquarters in the presence of state party president Ravindra Rai.

“Damage has already been done to JMM in Santhal Pargana after its veterans Hemlal Murmu and Simon Marandi joined us. Now, it is turn of the Congress. Good people like Chunna Singh ought to be in the BJP,” Rai said.

Singh said: “Only the BJP can give a development-oriented stable government to Jharkhand. I have joined the party to play a long and meaningful innings. I will not let it down.”

After a successful electoral debut from Sarath in 1985, Singh joined Congress and won the seat on the party’s ticket twice. In the 2004 Assembly polls, he successfully contested as a RJD candidate. Later, he went back to the Congress.

Now, his induction into the BJP is being seen as an attempt by the party to make a foothold in Bhumihar-dominated Sarath constituency.

Asked whether Singh would be considered for a party ticket from this seat, Rai refused to say anything.

But if sources are to believed, Singh could well be a potential contender as the BJP has no popular face in Sarath against JMM’s sitting MLA and Speaker Shashank Shekhar Bhokta.

District unit head

Jamshedpur: City-based black belt, general secretary of All India Karate-Do Association and head of Karate Association of Jharkhand, Nandji Prasad (46) became the president of the BJP in East Singhbhum. Prasad replaced Rajkumar Srivastava who quit a couple of days ago. Earlier, Prasad served the party as vice-president and general secretary of the district BJP.

“My priority is to help my party win all six Assembly seats in East Singhbhum. We are in power in Jamshedpur East and Potka. My focus would be to retain them and garner maximum support from Jugsalai, Bahragora, Ghatshila and Jamshedpur West,” he said.

“Every seat is vital for BJP to return to power in Jharkhand. We will try to get absolute majority as this was the only way to bring political stability in Jharkhand,” he said.

Politics apart, Prasad, who got the black belt in karate 1987, said he had been national champion thrice, representing India in World Karate Championship, Tokyo, in 1992. A regular at karate camps in the steel city and across the state, Prasad had also fielded the state outfit at the 34th National Games in Jharkhand in 2011. “Besides politics, I am looking forward to add more zing to karate in the state as it is close to my heart,” Prasad signed off.