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Nepal Mahata: Feisty Congress leader seeks re-election from stronghold in Bengal

During his tenure as MLA, Nepal was in favour of initiating talks with the Maoists and had written several letters to the then Union home minister to withdraw armed forces from the area.

Nepal Mahata is a four-time Congress MLA from Baghmundi assembly constituency (earlier Jhalda constituency) in Purulia district. The 59-year-old deputy leader of the Congress Legislature Party is seeking re-election from the seat.

Once a Maoist hotbed, Mahata’s seat was carved out of Jhalda and Arsha assembly constituencies.

Son of former Purulia MP, Debendra Mahato, Nepal has always been a feisty leader. In 2001, when the then Jhalda constituency was still a Congress stronghold, he contested the polls as an independent candidate and won the seat.

During his tenure as MLA, Nepal was in favour of initiating talks with the Maoists and had written several letters to the then Union home minister to withdraw armed forces from the area.

In the 2011 Assembly elections to the newly carved out Baghmundi constituency, the Congress leader secured 77,458 votes and defeated AIFB’s Mangal Mahata, who got 59,814 votes.

In the 2016 assembly elections, Nepal Mahata, the deputy leader of the Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly, defeated Samir Mahato of the Trinamool Congress. He polled 47.16 per cent of the votes in the constituency.

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