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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Husbands of women candidates in Bihar stand by their wives

Reena Sopam, Hindustan Times  Patna, March 31, 2014
First Published: 22:03 IST(31/3/2014) | Last Updated: 22:13 IST(31/3/2014)

Husbands of the women contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Bihar are going all out to support their wives.

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Take the case of Sailesh Kumar, husband of Misa Bharti and son-in-law of RJD chief Lalu Prasad.

An IIM Lucknow alumnus, Kumar is managing his wife's poll campaign – besides taking care of the couple's two daughters.

"I have my hands full with my two daughters and Misa's election campaign," says Kumar, who has worked with IT major Infosys and now pursues varied business interests.

"It is tough getting the kids to sleep at night, as Misa often returns home quite late."

Misa is contesting the polls as the RJD candidate from the Patliputra Lok Sabha seat.

Kumar often accompanies Misa during campaigning and is working hard behind the scenes to support her.

"Misa visits a locality, talks to the people, enquires about their problems, and moves on to another locality. But I stay back to collect voters' data," he says.

"I have even formed an IT team that uses modern technology to create faster connectivity with voters."

Then there is Ranjeet Ranjan, the Congress nominee from the Supaul Lok Sabha seat, who is fighting the elections along with her husband Rajesh Ranjan aka Pappu Yadav – albeit from different parties and seats.

Pappu, who spent over four years in jail after his 2008 conviction for the murder of Purnia CPM leader Ajit Sarkar, is the RJD candidate from the Madhepura seat. He was acquitted last May.

"We are representing two different parties but we share our campaign efforts. I recently accompanied Ranjeet as she campaigned in her constituency. Now it's her turn to join me for my campaign," says Pappu.

But the couple's busy campaign schedules have taken a toll on their personal life.

"We hardly get time to discuss family matters. Our children, who are based in Delhi, also miss their mother. But Ranjeet has her responsibilities towards the people," says Pappu.

Rinku, the husband of CPI-ML (Liberation) candidate from Bhagalpur seat Rinki Kumari, is used to sharing household chores with his wife.

"Whoever between us gets time handles household chores on a particular day," says Rinku, who goes by a single name.

A former MP known for his strong-arm ways, Suraj Singh aka Surajbhan Singh is these days shadowing his wife Veena Devi, the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) candidate from Munger.

"We stick together during the campaigning as it helps us win the confidence of voters," says Singh, who fielded his wife after he was debarred from contesting polls due to conviction in a murder case.

Meanwhile, Birendra Jha, husband of CPI-ML (Liberation) candidate from Nalanda seat Shashi Yadav, says he motivated his wife to enter the election fray.

"She was not too eager to contest this time. But I convinced her to fight the elections," he says. However, he does not accompany his wife during campaigning.

"I have to be in Darbhanga and Madhubani to supervise party work. But she has all my support and best wishes," says Jha.


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