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Tata Steel apprentice turns giant killer

india Updated: Jan 09, 2009 13:05 IST

PTI
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Once an apprentice with Tata Steel, 46-year-old Gopal Krishna Patar now proudly carries the "giant killer" tag after humbling Jharkhand chief minister and JMM supremo Shibu Soren in the bye-election to the Tamar assembly constituency.

Patar, more popularly known as "Raja Peter" in the steel city of Jamshedpur and Tamar, had little pretension to be a politician when he joined as an apprentice with the steel major.

But over the years, Patar aspired to contest the assembly election though he failed to win a Congress nomination in 2005. He fought the polls none the less as an Independent and lost to Ramesh Singh Munda of Janata Dal (U) by about 4,000 votes.

Born in Jamshedpur, Patar intended to work in Tata Steel where his father, known as "Patar babu" worked in the Community Development department. His elder brother Radha Krishna also worked there.

"We all are proud of Raja, whose toil from childhood till now has made the family hold its head high", his elder sister Geeta Singh Munda told newsmen in Jamshedpur soon after her brother completed the giant killing act yesterday.

Raja began his early education at Tisco High School and then studied at the R D Tata High School in the steel city.

"He soon got embroiled in some criminal cases and even went to jail. Among his peers, he was Raja Peter," said Jharkhand Peoples' Party president and one of the veterans of the statehood movement Surya Singh Besra, who also belongs to Jamshedpur.