He is a confirmed maverick of Bihar politics - a horse-riding former wrestler to whom changing his surname comes as easily as switching parties.
Dadan Singh aka Dadan Yadav aka Dadan Pehalwan aka Dadan Singh Yadav aka Dadan Yadav Pehalwan, the sitting JD (U) MLA from Dumraon in Buxar district of south central Bihar, is doing his fourth term in the Bihar assembly.
During his stint in electoral politics, Pehalwan has changed parties so many times, he has given a new meaning to the term ‘Aya Ram, Gaya Ram’. Starting as an independent, he has been in RJD, Samajwadi Party, BSP and now, the JD (U).
Dadan has been embroiled in several controversies over the years. He was once accused of forcibly occupying a government bungalow in Patna. He again hit controversy when he got a gigantic statute of the legendary wrestler Mahabali Vir Lorik Ahir installed on the premises of his official bungalow in Patna.
Dadan is now in the news because the Bank of India (BoI) has attached the landed assets as well as defunct rice mill belonging to him and his son Kartar Singh, for defaulting on the repayment of a loan taken by son Kartar in which father Dadan was the guarantor.
The MLA’s son had taken loan from the bank for setting up the rice mill.
The properties seized included the rice mill at Dumraon (Buxar) and one and a half katha of land at Saguna Mor in Danapur, which will be auctioned by the bank soon.
The loan amount with interest accrued on it has gone up to Rs 1.5 crore.
The Dumraon MLA, while confirming the seizure of land assets at Buxar and Danapur by the bank, was unable to recall the date and year of the loan his son had taken.
“I being the guarantor and my son defaulter in the case, it was natural for the bank to seize the property,” said Pehalwan.
Once a wrestler, who taught wrestling in Varanasi in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, Dadan plunged into politics and won as an Independent from Dumraon in 2000 Assembly poll. He was soon made commercial taxes minister in the Rabri Devi cabinet.
Dadan set up the Prajatantrik Lok Ekta Dal before the 2010 Assembly polls. But he merged his outfit with HD Deve Gowda’s JD (S) later. He subsequently joined forces with Mayawati after losing the poll.
He contested the August 2014 Lok Sabha poll on BSP ticket but lost again.
He was once the Bihar unit president of Samajwadi Party before being expelled from the party.