Ex-Jharkhand minister and five-time MLA Samresh Singh passes away at 81, CM and others express grief

Bokaro: Five times MLA and the first science and technology minister of Jharkhand Samresh Singh passed away on Thursday in his house in Sector-4 in Bokaro Steel City at 4 am.

He was 81 years old. Singh’s family said that he was admitted to Medanta Hospital in Ranchi on October 12 and returned on November 29 after recovering from illness due to old age.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, Assembly Speaker Ravindra Nath Mahto, State BJP president and MP Deepak Prakash, Leader of Legislature wing of BJP Babulal Marandi, JPCC Chief Rajesh Thakur and several other politicians and leaders cutting across party lines have expressed their grief over passing of the senior leader. Chief Minister Hemant Soren said that his last rites will be performed with state honours. 

Samresh Singh, the veteran political leader of Jharkhand was five times MLA in 1977, 1985, 1990, 2000 (Bihar assembly) and 2009 (Jharkhand assembly). He also contested the Lok Sabha elections four times in 1984, 1989, 1991 and 1996 on different parties’ tickets but did not win. He was a prominent leader of the Vananchal state movement for separate statehood for the then-south Bihar districts.

Samresh Singh shot into the political limelight and emerged as a popular leader in 1977 when he won the Bokaro assembly seat as an independent candidate in the Janata Party wave. Janata Party denied him the ticket so he contested as independently and won.

Later, he joined the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and contested in the 1980 assembly election but lost to Aklu Ram Mahto. Again in the 1985 election, he lost but won from Bokaro in 1990.

In 1984, Singh contested the Lok Sabha election for the first time on a BJP ticket from Dhanbad and emerged in the 3rd position with 78,000 votes. Congress leader Shankar Dayal Singh won the seat defeating AK Ray in the Indira Gandhi sympathy wave. Late Jharia MLA Suryadev Singh had also contested and got 55,000 votes. In 1989, BJP again fielded Singh from the Dhanbad Lok Sabha seat but he lost.

For a brief period, Samresh Singh and Inder Singh Namdhari along with 11 other MLAs parted ways with BJP and formed the Sampurna Kranti Dal. However, he returned to BJP later and the party fielded him in the Giridih Lok Sabha by-poll in 1991 after the death of Binod Bihari Mahto. But Samresh Singh lost to Rajkishore Mahto.

It is said that Samresh Singh parted ways with BJP on an issue related to PN Singh (present BJP MP). In the 1990 assembly election, Samresh wanted the Dhanbad ticket for PN Singh (present BJP MP) but the party fielded Prof Nirmal Chatterjee. This infuriated Samresh Singh and later he formed his own party named Jharkhand Vananchal Congress.

In the 1996 mid-term Lok Sabha election, Singh contested on an RJD ticket from Dhanbad and lost. In 2000, Bihar assembly election he won from Bokaro on his Jharkhand Vananchal Congress ticket and became the first science and technology minister of Jharkhand when the government was formed under Babulal Marandi after the formation of Jharkhand.

When Marandi formed his own Jharkhand Vikash Morcha after parting ways from BJP, Samresh Singh joined him and won from Bokaro in the 2009 assembly election.

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