85 and going strong - Congress MP ready for another poll battle

March 18th, 2009 - 2:51 pm ICT by IANS  

By Nityanand Shukla
Ranchi, March 18 (IANS) Age is clearly no barrier on his way to the Lok Sabha for yet another innings. At 85, Congress MP Bagun Sumbarai is ready for his sixth electoral battle from Jharkhand’s Singhbum constituency.

Sumbarai, almost youthful in his energy and enthusiasm, is up against former chief minister Madhu Koda but says he is game for the fight.

“I thank the party high command for reposing faith in me. I will again register a convincing victory in the Lok Sabha elections,” said Sumbarai, who got a ticket despite opposition from many quarters in the party.

Clad mostly in just a dhoti with a white cloth flung over his shoulder, Sumbarai is confident he will oust Koda, an independent legislator.

“Let people try their luck. The people of Singhbhum love me and it is reflected by the fact I have won five times. I am confident that the people will give me a sixth chance in the Lok Sabha.”

The secret of his youth? “My heart dominates. I hardly listen to my mind. I listen only to my heart.”

And, of course, a regulated, disciplined life.

He gets up between 4 a.m. and 4.30 a.m., and makes sure he exercises and does his daily yoga. Food is simple with dal, rice and green vegetable - and no meat thank you.

“Yoga and a routine life keep me healthy,” said the man who started his political career 42 years ago.

He first won the Lok Sabha election in 1977 on an All India Jharkhand Party ticket, then in 1980 on a Janata Party ticket. Since then, he has won the Singhbhum Lok Sabha seat in 1984, 1989 and 2004 for the Congress.

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