'Bi-pa-sa' woes rain on Cinderella

Around 45 km away from the maddening crowd of Jamshedpur, a 26-year-old MBBS doctor Cinderella Balmuchu is busy campaigning door-to-door in Ghatshila, a reserved (ST) seat, which has thrice been represented by her father Pradeep Balmuchu. 

One of the youngest contestant in the Jharkhand Assembly polls, the doctor, who studied in Jamshedpur’s Mahatma Gandhi Medical (MGM) College, is prescribing medicine for all the ills in her constituency. 

Having donned khadi after giving up an apron, Cinderella says she could not have served people in a better way had she continued as a doctor.

“Here people complain to me about Bi-pa-sa (bijli, pani and sadak), where you don’t have motorable roads; power supply is erratic and, to top it all, potable water is not easily available,” she avers while moving around in her constituency with folded hands.

Her father, Pradeep Balmuchu, the former Jharkhand Pradesh Congress president, is now a Rajya Sabha member and has, therefore, fielded his second daughter from a constituency he represented for three terms but lost in 2009 to JMM’s Ramdas Soren.

The senior Balmuchu, while campaigning for his daughter, is focusing on rural belts. Cinderella is taking care of the rest of the constituency in Singhbhum district which has 2.3 lakh voters, mostly tribals.

Though the JMM and the Congress continue to be alliance partners in the outgoing government headed by Hemant Soren, it’s the JMM candidate Ramesh Soren who is giving Cinderella a tough fight. 

“The contest is tough. But most of the people know that I am daughter of Pradeep Balmuchu, who won from here for three consecutive terms – 1995, 2000 and 2005,” she says. “But I don’t want to be known only by my surname,” she hastens to add.

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