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Dacoits share poll spoils

The dacoits of Chambal may be political novices, but they are playing the game just the way politicians would.

india Updated: Jan 02, 2006 02:34 IST

The dacoits of Chambal may be political novices, but they are playing the game just the way politicians would.

So for the zilla panchayat elections, rival dacoit gangs set aside their differences and managed to get their relatives elected.

Vir Singh, son of dreaded dacoit Dadua, was elected unopposed to the post of zilla panchayat chairman from Chitrakoot district on Saturday. Though the state election commission has asked the returning officer not to declare the result, Vir's election is certain since no nomination was filed against him.

Dadua's rival, Thokia, too had set his sights on the chairman's post. Since the Dadua and Thokia gangs are indulged in a bitter fight for supremacy in Chambal, people feared a bloody war in the ravines. But politics got the better of them. They thrashed out an agreement under which Dadua's son would be made chairman and Thokia's aunt Savita Singh would be the deputy chairman.

In a rare show of camaraderie, two other dacoit gangs - that of Radhey and Dharampal - extended their support to Dadua and Thokia. The dacoits' election strategies have left political parties bewildered.

Sources said the agreement among the dacoit gangs was based on pure economics. A zilla panchayat gets around Rs 10 crore a year for developing rural areas. With a five-year tenure, Vir Singh and Savita Singh now have a say on how Rs 50 crore is spent in the district.

This isn't the first time a zilla panchayat chairman has been elected unopposed (read rigged elections). In Etawah, home district of CM Mulayam Singh Yadav, one Hemlata made it to the top job without fuss. In Mainpuri, Suman Yadav won uncontested. Mukesh Agarwal, brother of Transport Minister Naresh Agarwal, was elected unopposed from Hardoi.

First Published: Jan 02, 2006 02:34 IST