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BANKA

The Banka constituency, which has a record of choosing 'outsiders' as its representative in Lok Sabha over the years, had sent present Union Minister of State for External Affairs Digvijay Singh to the Parliament in 1999.

india Updated: Apr 17, 2004 17:55 IST

The Banka constituency, which has a record of choosing 'outsiders' as its representative in Lok Sabha over the years, had sent present Union Minister of State for External Affairs Digvijay Singh to the Parliament in 1999.

The high-flying royal blood Digvijay, who contested on JD(U) ticket last time, is set to contest again. But the things would be more difficult for him this time, say the experts, citing his image as an inaccessible person for people of his constituency.

However, Digvijay is not new to the seat and has tasted both victories and defeats from here in the past. He is once again aiming to capitalise on caste factor. The constituency has more than 150,000 Rajput voters while Koeris and Kurmis are also the dominant factors.

Digvijay Singh had retained the seat in 1999, defeating Shakuni Chowdhuri of RJD by 61,241 votes in a 8-cornered contest. In 1998, he had contested on SAP ticket and defeated senior leader of the area Giridhari Yadav of RJD by 11,291 votes.

As a SAP candidate in 1996, Digvijay was defeated at the hands of Giridhari Yadav of Janata Dal by 14,715 votes whereas the seat had gone to Pratap Singh of Janata Dal in 1991 when he drubbed Manorma Singh of Congress by 110387 votes. Pratap Singh had defeated Manorma Singh of Congress by 216615 votes to win the seat in 1989.

Madhu Limaye, Janata Party ideologue and the chief wrecker of the Morarji Desai government, won from here in 1977; in 1980 he was shown the door. In 1989 and 1991 the Congress held on to the second position behind the Janata Dal, but in 1996 the runner-up was the Samata Party.

The tragedy is that most of the MPs elected from here are outsiders and they have all been accused of not paying enough attention to local problems and people.

Since 1977 almost all the MPs who represented the constituency have been outsiders. Be it Madhu Limaye, George Fernandes, Chandrashekar Singh, Manorama Singh, Pratap Singh or Samata spokesman Digvijay Singh, who won in 1998, none of them have their roots here.

The first two are non-Biharis while two-time MP Pratap Singh, former premier VP Singh's sambdi, is settled in Calcutta.

First Published: Mar 26, 2004 15:27 IST