Sorens face tough battle to retain turf

Sorens face tough battle to retain turf

More than four decades back, a young Shibu Soren started his political career in Jama, an adjoining constituency of Dumka. Fighting for the rights of tribals and a separate statehood, Shibu became a legislator for the first time from Jama, then a part of undivided Bihar, in 1980.

His eldest son Durga Soren nurtured the constituency and became Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) MLA in 1995 and 2000. Durga missed a hat trick when he was trounced by BJP’s Sunil Soren in 2005. This was the first Assembly election held in Jharkhand after the State came into being in November 2000. Durga would have avenged his defeat in the 2009 Assembly election, but he passed away due to prolonged illness. This left Shibu with no option other than to field in his daughter-in-law Sita Soren from Jama in 2009.

Riding on a sympathy wave, Sita won, thereby becoming another power centre in Shibu’s party where Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, the JMM chief’s second son, calls the shots. Incidentally, both Dumka and Jama will go to polls on December 20 during the fifth and final phase of voting. While Hemant is the JMM nominee from Dumka, his sister-in-law Sita is again playing a widow card in Jama.

However, Sita’s road to success won’t be smooth this time as she faces charges of ignoring her constituency besides facing corruption charges during the last Rajya Sabha elections.

“She is facing a tough fight from BJP’s Suresh Murmu. Besides, Congress’s Marshal Marandi and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha’s Sukhlal Soren are splitting the non-BJP votes, thereby giving nightmares to Sita,” said Mrityunjay Pandey, a local scribe.

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