In a keenly watched contest, Jharkhand’s Chatra that went to polls in the fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections on April 29 witnessed a tough fight between BJP's Sunil Singh, Congress' Manoj Kumar Yadav and RJD's Subhash Yadav.
BJP's Sunil Singh is winning with 522656 votes against Congress' Dhiraj Sahu, as of 22:26 hours.
While BJP's Sunil Singh - the sitting MP from the constituency - had defeated Congress’ Dhiraj Sahu by a wide margin of 1.78 lakh votes in 2014, the contest this time around was more complicated.
This is a seat also witness to an inside tussle between ‘Mahagtahbandhan’ parties RJD and Congress. Being an RJD stronghold, the Tejashwi Yadav-led party wanted to field its own candidate but as per seat sharing deal, it went to Congress. Despite this, RJD fielded its own candidate in Chatra in a ‘friendly contest’ against the Congress.
As part of its alliance in the state, the Congress had tied up with Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) (Prajatantrik) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). Out of 14 seats, Congress is contesting seven seats, JMM is contesting four, JVM is contesting two and RJD on 1 seat (plus in Chatra).
Chatra Lok Sabha constituency comprises the Chatra, Simaria, Latehar, Panki, Palamu and Manika Vidhan Sabha constituencies.
Since 1999, RJD has won two times from the constituency. In that year Nagmani Kushwaha had won and then, in 2004, Dhirendra Agarwal had won under Lalu Prasad’s leadership. In 2009, however, an Independent candidate Inder Singh Namdhari became Chatra’s MP, but five years later, as the Modi wave swept all before it, BJP’s Sunil Kumar Singh registered victory.
A historical fact of note relating to Chatra is that one of the most significant events of 1942’s Quit India Movement, was the escape of Jai Prakash Narayan along with six others from the Hazaribagh Central Jail on 9 November 1942 (the night of festival of Diwali), happened there. The district is currently a part of the Red Corridor.