Kodas staring at tough battle in their stronghold

Kodas staring at tough battle in their stronghold

Geeta Koda, wife of former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda, never wanted to be in politics

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But once her husband quit as CM after getting embroiled in the coal mining scam worth several hundred crores, the onus shifted to her to protect their stronghold – Jagannathpur.

This reserved constituency in Jharkhand, which is closer to Odisha border than Ranchi, has been loyal to the Kodas for the last one-and-a-half decade. Despite adverse publicity and the wrong reasons for which Madhu Koda was in the news, Geeta contested and won from this tribal-dominated seat in West Singhbhum district in 2009, thereby making her debut as MLA.

Geeta’s entry into politics was precisely because of Madhu Koda, who won from here twice – once in 2000 as BJP MLA and second time as an Independent in 2005, had, by that time, become a Lok Sabha  member from Singhbhum parliamentary constituency in May 2009.

When the Assembly election took place later in 2009, he took a leaf out of Lalu’s book, and much like the RJD chief, pulled out his wife from the kitchen and made her contest as a little-known pocket outfit – Jai Bharat Samanta Party (JBSP) candidate. Much to the  amusement of all, the political greenhorn Geeta came out with flying colours.  
Kodas’ successive win in Assembly and parliamentary polls was halted when Madhu he lost the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

However, this Assembly election, Madhu is testing the political waters from adjoining constituency Majhgaon, which too shares border with Odisha - the State from where Madhu got his education, while Geeta is contesting from Jagannathpur, the seat she represents at present.

The Kodas would not have faced a rough political weather had Narendra Modi not addressed a BJP rally at Chaibasa a few days back. “I am Chai-wala. And you are Chaibasa-wala,” said Modi striking an emotional chord with the local people here.
Modi’s magic could upset Kodas, just as it happened during Parliamentary polls when the BJP won 12 of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand.

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