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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Mokama, a Bhumihar stronghold, faces proxy battle as wives of two strongmen faceoff

Mokama, a Bhumihar stronghold in Bihar, is set to witness a high-voltage battle in today’s bypoll between two strongmen — four-time MLA from the seat Anant Singh, popularly known as ‘Chhote Sarkar’, and Nalini Ranjan alias Lalan Singh — both from the same community. 

Notably, neither of the leaders is contesting the bypoll, but have ensured a proxy battle by getting their wives fight for the seat. The bypoll was necessitated after Anant Singh, the sitting MLA, was dismissed due to conviction in a criminal case. 

BJP nominee Sonam Devi – wife of Lalan Singh – is up against RJD’s Neelam Devi, whose is Anant Singh’s wife. 

Gopalganj too will witness a bypoll on the same date. It was necessitated due to the death of sitting BJP MLA Subhash Singh. The Mokama and Gopalganj bypolls will be the first electoral test for Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, who switched sides with his pre-poll alliance partner BJP but retained power with the support of the RJD.

Mokama, which falls under the Munger Lok Sabha constituency, is witnessing a contest among seven candidates this time, all hailing from the Bhumihar community. 

Anant Singh, a Bhumihar, started his political career with the JD(U) and was elected as the MLA on its ticket twice. He also won the seat as an Independent candidate and under the RJD banner in 2020. After his disqualification, Singh’s wife Neelam Devi is confident of retaining the seat. 

BJP candidate Sonam Devi, wife of a local muscleman Lalan Singh who has been opposed to Anant Singh, is a greenhorn. Her husband is known to be a confidant of dreaded gangster-turned-politician Suraj Bhan Singh.

Suraj Bhan Singh had made his electoral debut in the 2000 assembly elections when he wrested the Mokama seat, by an astounding margin, contesting as an Independent and defeating Anant Singh’s elder brother Dilip Singh, who was a minister in the Rabri Devi government.

The last time the BJP contested the seat on its own was in 1995, when it was not a force to reckon with in Bihar. Since then, it had been leaving the seat for its allies. 

Lalan Singh has been a thorn on Anant’s side for a long time. The Bhumihar strongmen faced off for the first time over the Mokama seat in 2005. Although the former lost to ‘Chhote Sarkar’ by a thin margin of 2,000 votes, he didn’t give up. In 2010, his wife Sonam Devi, contesting on LJP’s ticket, also gave a tough competition to the Mokama Bahubali, but lost.

This time, Lalan hopes to take advantage of his long association with former Mokama MLA (2000-2005) and MP Surajbhan Singh to win the Bhumihar stand-off. Surajbhan, along with his wife Veena Devi, an MP from Munger, has come out in support of Lalan and his wife.

Nilesh Desai
Nilesh Desaihttps://www.TheNileshDesai.com
The Hindu Patrika is founded in 2016 by Mr. Nilesh Desai. This website is providing news and information mainly related to Hinduism. We appreciate if you send News, information or suggestion.

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