Jamshedpur: Seat once won by Priyanka Chopra’s grandmom

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das flashes the victory sign along with party supporters after filing nominations for the forthcoming Assembly Election 2019, in Jamshedpur. (PTI Photo)

In the five-phase Assembly election in Jharkhand, all eyes are on Jamshedpur (East) constituency, the seat represented by BJP Chief Minister Raghubar Das. He has been winning this seat for the last five times since 1995 and is looking for a double hat-trick if he wins for the sixth consecutive term.

However, what is not commonly known is the fact that Jamshedpur was once represented by actress Priyanka Chopra’s maternal grandmother Madhu Jyotsna Akhauri. She won from this constituency in 1967 as the Congress candidate in the undivided Bihar.

In the 60s, when Congress was at its peak and ruled Centre as well as many other States, Madhu became the first MLA from Jamshedpur after delimitation exercise was carried out in 1967. Incidentally, her eldest daughter was also named Madhu (later known as Madhu Chopra), mother of Priyanka Chopra.

Priyanka’s maternal grandmother Madhu Jyotsna was married to Dr Manohar Krishna Akhauri, a renowned doctor of the Steel City, who was also the president of Jamshedpur District Congress Committee in the 60s. Madhu was initially fielded by the Congress in 1962 to contest the Assembly poll. However, she lost to Ram Avatar Singh of CPI.

In 1967, the delimitation exercise was carried out. The same year, Madhu Akhauri contested the Assembly election, post-delimitation. This time, she won by defeating N Banerjee of CPM by around 8000 votes.

Following the split in the Congress, a mid-term poll was held in 1969. She was then a sitting Congress MLA. However, she lost the 1969 polls to Kedar Das of the CPI.

Priyanka’s grandmom journey as a legislator was short-lived, although she stayed in Jamshedpur where Priyanka Chopra was born on July 18, 1982. Priyanka’s mother Madhu was married to an army doctor Ashok Chopra, who was, incidentally, also posted in Jamshedpur in the early 80s. Priyanka was born to the Chopra couple at Tata Main hospital (TMH), the premier hospital in the Steel City.

Madhu Jyotsna Akhauri passed away in Mumbai in 2016 at the age of 94. “Before her death, she watched the shooting of her maternal grand-daughter Priyanka’s movie ‘Jai Gangajal’, sitting on a wheel-chair,” said a family source.

AT A GLANCE: Jamshedpur (East)

This Assembly seat has seen 12 elections since delimitation in 1967.

While the BJP has won seven times, the Congress and CPI have won twice each. The Janata Party won once.

BJP: 1980, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2009, 2014.

Congress: 1967 and 1985.

CPI: 1969 and 1972.

Janata Party: 1977.

(The present Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das has been winning from this seat since 1995. In 2014, he won by defeating his nearest rival AB Dubey of Congress by 70,157 votes).

Total number of voters: 3,00,450

Male voters: 1,56,469

Female voters: 1,43,981

2019 main contestants: Raghubar Das (BJP), Saryu Rai (rebel BJP minister contesting as Independent) and Gaurav Vallabh (Cong)  

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