A couple of ‘power couples’ have added a new dimension to the assembly elections in Jharkhand, emerging as the biggest challenges to the BJP and the Congress in the second phase of polling on December 2.
Two couples are in the fray in four seats of the 20 constituencies which will go to the polls in the second phase.
Former CM Madhu Koda and his wife Geeta are candidates of the Jai Bharat Samta Party (JBSP) in Majhgaon and Jagannathpur assembly seats in West Singhbhum.
Similarly, Jharkhand Party’s (JP) supremo and former state minister Enos Ekka and wife Menon are contesting the polls from Koleibera and Simdega respectively.
Madhu Koda, arrested in one of India’s biggest money laundering scams, won the seat twice in succession in 2000 and 2005 assembly polls.
Geeta said that her entry to politics was by accident as “he (Madhu) was falsely accused in a scam and sent to jail. I had to step into his shoes to strengthen the party”.
In 2009, Koda won the parliamentary elections from Singhbum constituency and his wife retained Jagannathpur.
“No doubt the couple is a challenge but we have the Modi wave and good work of the BJP to overcome it,” said BJP’s sitting legislator from Majhgaon, Barkuwar Gagrai.
However, in the LS polls earlier this year, the small party had left the BJP trailing in three of the five assembly segments in Singhbhum.
In Simdega, Enos rivals both national and regional parties alike. A minister in the Madhu Koda-led government, Enos had won the Koliebera seat in 2005 and 2009.