From finance minister in the 1960s to president now, Uparbeda’s political legacy has touched zenith – The New Indian Express

Express press service

BHUBANESWAR: Uparbeda, a village under Kusumi block in Rairangpur Assembly constituency of Mayurbhanj district, will no longer be indescribable, thanks to Draupadi Murmu, India’s first tribal president. But long before the president-elect thrust it into the limelight, this peaceful village remained a political hotbed for the dominant Santhali tribe while earning the unique distinction of sending three of its children, including Draupadi, to the Legislative Assembly of ‘Odisha and another in Lok Sabha. Now home to a population of around 2,500, Uparbeda was relatively progressive politically. Few know that he even elected an MP who became state finance minister at least five decades ago.

Kartik Charan Majhi, son of Chandra Mohan Majhi and a lawyer by profession, was the first of Uparbeda to lay the groundwork by getting elected to the seat of Rairangpur (ST) in 1967 on a Swatantra Party ticket. Although a freshman, Majhi, a relative of Draupadi, was a minister and held different portfolios like finance, interior, urban development and works and transport in the cabinet of Chief Minister RN Singhdeo from 1967 to 1971.

The story is building, slowly but surely. After a hiatus of 14 years, Bhabendra Nath Murmu, another local son, was elected to the Assembly from a Congress list. A mining engineer, Murmu served Central Coalfields Limited as Superintendent of Mines. “As he was not in good health, Murmu considered quitting his job and trying something else. Some relatives and supporters persuaded him to try his luck in politics,” said former MP Maryubhanj Salkhan Murmu, also a cousin of Murmu. The new Indian Express.

After quitting mining work, Murmu approached key Congress leaders, including Minister Niranjan Patnaik, who arranged a meeting with Chief Minister JB Patnaik. His educational and professional background helped him secure a ticket from Congress to fight in the 1985 elections. Exactly a year after being elected as an MP, Murmu died on March 3, 1986. Three elections later, it was his turn of Draupadi, the daughter of Uparbeda, who was elected consecutively from Rairangpur to the 12th (2000-04) and 13th (2004-09) Assemblies. She was destined to write history in letters of gold and her remote village, 280 km from the state capital of Bhubaneswar, now looms large on the world map.

The story of Salkhan Murmu, another from the same region, is a little different. Although his father belongs to Uparbeda, the family migrated to Karandih within Parasudih police boundary in East Singhbhum of Jharkhand in search of employment in Jamshedpur where Tata Steel established the country’s first steel mill in 1907.

Born in Karandih, Salkhan did his graduate studies in commerce in Jamshedpur. He held a senior management position at Tata Steel for 10 years and left his job in 1989 to pursue a career in politics. He joined the movement for a separate state of Jharkhand and successfully organized a rally in New Delhi as chairman of the All India Jharkhand Party.

“Some BJP leaders including incumbent BJD MP from Morada (in Mayurbhanj district) Rajkishore Das approached me to join the Saffron Party with the promise to give me a ticket for the 1996 elections in Lok Sabha. I accepted their proposal and joined the fray. However, I lost the election,” the former MP said.

Twice elected to Lok Sabha of the BJP ticket from Mayurbhanj seat in 1998 and 1999, Murmu refused to stand in the next elections as he wanted to work for reforms of the tribal self-government system. and we discussed a wide range of issues relating to tribal welfare and tribal autonomy. I called her back on June 22 to wish her after her nomination as a presidential candidate,” he said.

BHUBANESWAR: Uparbeda, a village under Kusumi block in Rairangpur Assembly constituency of Mayurbhanj district, will no longer be indescribable, thanks to Draupadi Murmu, India’s first tribal president. But long before the president-elect thrust it into the limelight, this peaceful village remained a political hotbed for the dominant Santhali tribe while earning the unique distinction of sending three of its children, including Draupadi, to the Legislative Assembly of ‘Odisha and another in Lok Sabha. Now home to a population of around 2,500, Uparbeda was relatively progressive politically. Few know that he even elected an MP who became state finance minister at least five decades ago. Kartik Charan Majhi, son of Chandra Mohan Majhi and a lawyer by profession, was the first of Uparbeda to lay the groundwork by getting elected to the seat of Rairangpur (ST) in 1967 on a Swatantra Party ticket. Although a first comer, Majhi, a relative of Draupadi, was a minister and held different portfolios like finance, interior, urban development and works and transport in the office of Chief Minister RN Singhdeo from 1967 to 1971 The story was building, slowly but surely. After a hiatus of 14 years, Bhabendra Nath Murmu, another local son, was elected to the Assembly from a Congress list. A mining engineer, Murmu served Central Coalfields Limited as Superintendent of Mines. “As he was not in good health, Murmu considered quitting his job and trying something else. Some relatives and supporters persuaded him to try his luck in politics,” former MP Maryubhanj Salkhan Murmu, also a cousin of Murmu, told the New Indian Express. After quitting mining work, Murmu approached key Congress leaders, including Minister Niranjan Patnaik, who arranged a meeting with Chief Minister JB Patnaik. His educational and professional background helped him secure a ticket from Congress to fight in the 1985 elections. Exactly a year after being elected as an MP, Murmu died on March 3, 1986. Three elections later, it was his turn of Draupadi, the daughter of Uparbeda, who was elected consecutively from Rairangpur to the 12th (2000-04) and 13th (2004-09) Assemblies. She was destined to write history in letters of gold and her remote village, 280 km from the state capital of Bhubaneswar, now looms large on the world map. The story of Salkhan Murmu, another from the same region, is a little different. Although his father is from Uparbeda, the family migrated to Karandih within Parasudih police boundary in East Singhbhum of Jharkhand in search of employment in Jamshedpur where Tata Steel established the country’s first steel mill in 1907. Born in Karandih, Salkhan did his post-graduation in commerce in Jamshedpur. He held a senior management position at Tata Steel for 10 years and left his job in 1989 to pursue a career in politics. He joined the movement for a separate state of Jharkhand and successfully organized a rally in New Delhi as chairman of the All India Jharkhand Party. “Some BJP leaders including incumbent BJD MP from Morada (in Mayurbhanj district) Rajkishore Das approached me to join the Saffron Party with the promise to give me a ticket for the 1996 elections in Lok Sabha. I accepted their proposal and joined the fray. However, I lost the elections,” said the former MP. Twice elected to Lok Sabha from the BJP ticket from Mayurbhanj seat in 1998 and 1999 , Murmu declined to run in the upcoming elections as he wanted to work for reforms of the tribal self-governance system and we discussed a wide range of issues relating to tribal welfare and tribal self-governance. I called back on June 22 to wish her after her nomination as a presidential candidate,” he said.