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A Cinderella story, with a political twist - Balmuchu daughter among bunch of articulate & accomplished young guns taking poll plunge in East Singhbhum

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By Animesh Bisoee
  • Published 13.11.14


A qualified doctor and a Harvard alumnus will add passionate eloquence to the weary democratic high drama in East Singhbhum when its six Assembly seats - Jamshedpur West and East, Jugsalai, Ghatshila, Baharagora and Potka - go to polls on December 2.


Cinderella Balmuchu (26), the youngest daughter of former Ghatshila MLA and current Rajya Sabha MP from


Congress Pradeep Balmuchu, is trying her luck from daddy's party and old turf. The reserved ST constituency, lying 45km from Jamshedpur, was won by Balmuchu three times in a row before he lost it to Ramdas Soren of JMM by a wafer-thin margin in 2009.


"I joined the fray on my father's advice and with the party high command's blessings," said Cinderella who completed her MBBS last year from MGM Medical College and Hospital and did her internship at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in Delhi.


The alumnus of Sacred Heart Convent admitted that she was a political novice and the going would be tough. "My father has served the people for over a decade. He lost by only 1,192 votes. And, people missed him because the region (read Ghatshila) did not develop in the past five years. This may work to my advantage. I am hoping to ride his popularity wave," the young woman was candid.


Cinderella is utterly serious about her parallel career in politics. "At the moment, I am only concentrating on the elections. My (doctor) friends and I will campaign in the remotest pockets of Ghatshila. Only after the results are declared will I start preparing for my postgraduation," she said.


And, her poll plank? "Improving health and education facilities in Ghatshila, providing better security to women and promoting tourism," she said without missing a beat.


If Maoist hotbed Ghatshila may find a healing touch in Congress's Cinderella, rebellious twin Baharagora can bank on Kunal Sarangi (33), the son of former MLA and health minister Dr Dinesh Sarangi, who has won a JMM ticket.


Kunal, an NIT-Adityapur engineer who finished his MBA from University of Lancaster (UK) in 2007 and cleared a certificate course from Harvard Kennedy School last year, has given up his cosy job as a media consultant in Delhi "to forward his father's dream" in villages of Baharagora, 90km from Jamshedpur. 

"I am a local youth who knows issues troubling people much better than candidates who stay in Jamshedpur," the amateur took a professional dig at Dineshanand Goswami, BJP candidate from the seat.


Incidentally, Dr Sarangi, contesting on a BJP ticket in 2009, had lost to present Jamshedpur MP and former Baharagora MLA Bidyut Baran Mahto (then contesting as a JMM candidate) by 17,154 votes. The seat has been lying vacant since Mahto became MP earlier this year.


"My family - father a doctor and mother a writer - have served people in this constituency for four decades. Now, I have taken up the baton and will continue helping people irrespective of the poll results," Kunal, who speaks Odiya, Bengali, Hindi, English and French, as well as a smattering of Santhali, said.


The young gun will garner support with the promises of employment generation, infrastructure development including NH-33 revamp and better healthcare.


Another first-timer in the fray is Sanjiv Acharya (34), a Jai Bharat Samanta Party candidate from Jamshedpur West. A businessman and resident of Kadma, he had been associated with JDU students' movements for a decade, but resigned three months ago to join the RJD.


"The offer for contesting from Jamshedpur West came from Madhu Koda (former chief minister) and my family and friends encouraged me to take the plunge," Sanjiv, who has also played league football, said.


His campaign will focus on ownership rights to residents of urban slums, higher education centres and completion of Marine Drive widening work.