CPI fields old war horse against Jayant Sinha

CPI fields old war horse against Jayant Sinha

The billboard in Hazaribagh displays Jayant Sinha’s contribution to his constituency, which includes railway connectivity to airport to roads and highways. (DH File Photo)

Left out of the Mahagatbandhan in Jharkhand, the CPI has decided to field its old war horse and former MP Bhubaneshwar Mehta from Hazaribagh Lok Sabha constituency where elections will be held on May 6.

Mehta, who once trounced former Union Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, will be pitted against the BJP sitting MP and Union Minister Jayant Sinha. The latter is elder son of Yashwant.

The Mahgatbandhan in Jharkhand comprises the Congress, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM, headed by former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi) and the RJD. The Congress will be contesting seven seats out of 14 Lok Sabha constituencies in Jharkhand. This includes Hararibagh too, although it has not named its nominee precisely because the CPI has requested the Congress to avoid contesting from there as it would split anti-BJP votes.

“CPI nominee Mehta, who recently met senior Congress leader and former Ranchi MP, Subodh Kant Sahay, has requested to earmark Hazaribagh seat for the Left party,” a source in Jharkhand Congress told Deccan Herald over phone.

Mehta is a veteran parliamentarian who represented Hazaribagh as CPI MP from 1991 to 1996 and then again from 2004 to 2009. Last time, he emerged victorious was in 2004 when he trounced the then External Affairs Minister in Vajpayee regime, Yashwant Sinha.

Yashwant avenged his defeat in 2009 but was denied ticket by the BJP in 2014 when he commented “I am not suffering from NaMo-nia”, in an oblique reference to Narendra Modi, who was then the BJP’s prime-ministerial candidate.

Yashwant’s son Jayant Sinha, an IIT-Delhi graduate, who worked with MNCs, was, however, eventually given the BJP ticket. In his debut Lok Sabha poll, Jayant emerged victorious and was made Union Minister of State for Finance. But after a row, he was shifted to Ministry of Civil Aviation as MoS. 

Jayant, who has been fielded again by the BJP from Hazaribagh, despite his father’s diatribe against Modi, has put out billboards in the town depicting the “enormous works” carried out by him in his Lok Sabha constituency.