SUMIT KUMAR Singh has emerged as the only Independent candidate to have secured a victory in the Bihar Assembly elections, the results for which were declared on Tuesday. The 39-year-old contested from constituency No. 243 — the Chakai Vidhan Sabha seat in Jamui district — and defeated sitting RJD MLA Savitri Devi by a small margin of 581 votes.
At 60.03%, the constituency registered the highest voter turnout in the first phase of the polls.
In the Adivasi-majority Chakai constituency, which had 13 candidates in the fray, Singh, a Rajput, polled 45,548 votes.The tally of Devi, a Yadav, stood at 44,967 votes, while JD(U) candidate Sanjay Prasad finished third with 39,319 votes.
The LJP is believed to have played a spoiler for the JD(U) here too, with its candidate Sanjay Kumar Mandal getting over 20,000 votes.
“I knew that as an Independent, I wouldn’t have a cadre or community vote, so for the past five years, I have helped people from every neighbourhood and caste to build my voter base,” said Singh.
The 39-year-old decided to go alone after being denied a JD(U) ticket. A graduate, he comes from a political family which holds influence in the area. His family, said Siddharth, a local resident, had helped the region’s Adivasi families get access to medical treatment, benefits of the Indira Awas Yojan etc. People continued to throng to his residence with their problems even after he lost the 2015 polls, which he fought as an Independent as well, he added.
Singh’s grandfather Shrikrishna Singh has earlier represented Chakai twice, in 1967 and 1969, on a Samyukta Socialist Party ticket. His father Narendra Singh, who has been with the Congress and the Janata Dal, has represented the seat twice. Singh’s brother Abhay, who committed suicide in 2010 after allegedly killing his wife and daughter over a “family dispute”, had been an MLA too.
In 2010, Singh, whose election symbol this time was an apple, had won Chakai (near Jharkhand) on a Jharkhand Mukti Morcha ticket. Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Yadavs, Muslims, and Rajputs form the major chunk of voters in the region.
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