A native of Kanapur village in Burhanpur district, Manju Dadu, 27, is the second woman to represent Nepanagar (scheduled tribe) assembly constituency. State woman and child development minister Archana Chitnis represented it in 2003. The constituency was declared ST-reserved in 2008.
Manju, who is the second among four sisters and brothers, was preparing for IAS exam after completing her BBA when her father Rajendra Dadu’s death in a car accident in June forced her to change her plans.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, BJP state president Nand Kumar Singh Chouhan who represents Burhnapur-Khandwa Lok Sabha seat and local BJP leaders encouraged her to contest by-elections from Nepanagar to be a political heir to her father who had represented the assembly constituency from 2008 till death.
“I have given up my ambition to pursue IAS. I am in politics to fulfill my father’s dream of providing water, electricity, healthcare and education facility in every village. I will accomplish it with blessings of senior party leaders,” Manju told HT.
Though belonging to farmers’ family, Manju’s grandfather Shyamlal Dadu was Khargone district collector in 1971 after which he became Bhopal divisional commissioner. He took voluntary retirement and contested assembly elections from Pandhana as an independent candidate but lost. Her father late Rajendra Dadu, a B SC (agriculture) graduate, joined BJP in 1990s.