Crusade for people pulls son back from Down Under - Amit Sarkar gives up job in Melbourne to contest polls in Purnea as homage to slain father Ajit Sarkar

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  • Published 29.09.10

Patna, Sept. 28: The pull of politics to nourish his late father’s dream has prompted an Australia-based IT professional to leave a lucrative job in Melbourne and try his fate in the Bihar Assembly elections.

Amit Kumar Sarkar, son of slain CPM leader Ajit Sarkar, will contest from the Purnea constituency, a northeast Bihar seat represented by his parents five times. While Ajit Sarkar was elected from the constituency four times (1980 to 1998), Amit’s mother Madhavi Sarkar won the seat in the 1998 bypoll after the brutal murder of her husband.

The CPM, however, failed to win from Purnea in the 2000 and 2005 polls.

“I used to feel restless while working in Australia and regular phone calls from supporters of my late father from Purnea further expedited my decision to quit the job of the Australian firm and join politics to serve the people,” the junior Sarkar told The Telegraph over phone from Purnea on Tuesday.

Ajit Sarkar, a firebrand farmer leader who had a long history of animosity with don-turned-politician Pappu Yadav, was gunned down in broad daylight on June 14, 1998, in Purnea, along with his driver and a party worker. Pappu Yadav, who went on to become a Lok Sabha member from Lalu Prasad’s RJD, has been convicted of the murder and is serving a life term,

Amit had gone to Australia in 2000 and after obtaining degrees in IT and management, had worked with different firms there. At the time of calling it a day from the professional world, he was working with Aegis Australia. During his 10-year stay down under, the 28-year-old young man from Purnea got married to an Australian girl Blaga in 2005. The couple have two sons — Josh (4) and Jay (2).

Blaga extended her whole-hearted support to her husband when he decided to take the plunge in the uncertain world of politics where no one can guarantee a victory or a regular source of income. “She respected my desire to serve the constituency which was nursed by my father and never objected to my decision to quit the job,” said Amit. Blaga, in fact, is planning to come to India along with her two sons later this year and is likely to settle here with his husband.

It is not that the junior Sarkar is a novice in politics; he used to be an active member of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) during his student days. “Though I never held any office in the SFI, I used to take active part in their membership drive,” he said.

His brush with the CPM student arm is evident when one asks him questions about the issues which he would like to address if elected to the Assembly.

“Forceful displacement of poor people who were settled on Bhoodan land by my father, non-supply of electricity in rural areas, lack of development in Purnea and rampant corruption are the major issues facing the people of this constituency and my priority would be to address these issues,” he said.

Amit does not bother much about his electoral fate and gives priority to the issues. “Win or lose, I am here to raise a voice in support of the people and I would continue to do so irrespective of the outcome of the Assembly polls,” he said.