Former minister in the Hemant Soren cabinet and Congress legislator from Vishrampur Chandra Shekhar “Dadai” Dubey joined the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata on Sunday after being denied the Dhanbad seat.
Dubey’s name did not figure in the list of six candidates released by the Congress on Saturday and he promptly went over to the TMC, which offered him the Dhanbad ticket.
It was another coup for the TMC, which has been going about acquiring disgruntled leaders all over the state. Dubey is the party’s third legislator; TMC is yet to have even a state unit. However, sources close to him said he would soon resign as a legislator as the anti-defection law would apply.
There were more surprises from the Congress when it came to distribution of candidatures — the decision on the Ranchi seat has been delayed while the Pradesh Congress president would not contest. The Congress, scheduled to contest from eight constituencies, announced only six seats in its first list.
Subodh Kant Sahay, the Ranchi legislator and lone MP of the party from Jharkhand, did not find a place in the list on Saturday. There is a perception that Sahay, a former union minister, did not perform well this tenure but most party leaders assumed that he would be retained. Regional news channels reported that an individual from outside the state could be the party’s nominee this time. A delegation of Sahay’s supporters returned from Delhi on Sunday after lobbying for their leader.
Also missing from the Congress list was PCC president Sukhdeo Bhagat, widely tipped to be the party’s candidate from Lohardaga. “The high command has decided that the party presidents of Jharkhand and Bihar should concentrate on campaigning,” said Shailendra Sinha, PCC spokesperson. Lohardaga had been entrusted with Rameshwar Oraon, Chairperson of the National Commission of Scheduled Tribes, who won from the constituency in 2004 but lost in 2009.
BJP leaders Prabhat Jha, Shahnawaz Hussain and Krishnapal Gujar also addressed a number of rallies.