Patna,(BiharTimes): Former chief minister Ram Sundar Das is approaching 90 yet he got ticket for the Lok Sabha election from the Janata Dal (United) in 2009. He turned out to be a giant-killer defeating none else but the Lok Janshakti Party chief, Ram Vilas Paswan, almost a generation younger than him.
Energy minister Ramashray Prasad Singh is still in his 80s, yet for the first time in last so many years he will not be contesting election. Reasons: the energy within him has got exhausted and health-wise he is not well. Secondly, his home constituency, Makhdoompur in Jehanabad district, which he nurtured so well has become a reserved seat.
Ramshray, who hails from Newari village in Makhdoompur, was arguably the tallest leader of the Congress from Magadh division––barring perhaps Satyendra Narayan Sinha, the former chief minister, who hailed from Aurangabad district.
He remained in Congress for full four decades and served as a minister in almost all the ministries in 1980s and 1990s. This notwithstanding the infighting within the state Congress leadership and frequent change of chief minister––almost an annual feature in the later years of 1980s. It was in 1985 that he was denied the assembly ticket but this caused a lot of resentment and he was later inducted into the Bindeshwari Dubey cabinet. Three years later he entered the state assembly by winning a by-election from Konch in Gaya district.
However, it was in the 21st century that he moved on to Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party and won on its ticket in February 2005 election. It was a fracture verdict and the President’s Rule was imposed.
However, Ramashray, along with several other MLAs revolted and crossed over to the Janata Dal (United) and contested November 2005 election on its ticket. But he lost from Makhdoompur, the constituency, which he represented a number of times. Though he lost still he was made minister by Nitish Kumar as he had experience with him. So after a gap of 15 years he was again in the state cabinet.
Unlike several other politicians of this region his supporters consider him as soft-spoken and non- controversial. However, his name was dragged after the murder of Soshit Samaj Dal leader, Jagdeo Prasad father of Congress leader, Nagmani.
A former traffic inspector in the Bihar State Road Transport Corporation, he left a lasting impression on the region and the caste to which he belonged––Bhumihars. He is still remembered for the work he did for his constituency.
This time Makhdoompur is going to poll without him. Now his cabinet colleague, Jeetan Ram Manjhi, is the Janata Dal (United) candidate. He is likely to cash in on the work done by Ramashray.
RJD has fielded Dharamraj Paswan and Congress Shankar Swaroop as their candidates.