Singh Mansion of Dhanbad trying to reinstate its lost power
It was built by Suryadev Singh, who came to Dhanbad in search of a job in the 1950s and started working under the then coal mafia leader B.P. Sinha
Dhanbad (Jharkhand): Political temperature in Dhanbad is at its peak these days and it is incomplete without discussing Singh Mansion, the place which remained the power centre for decades.
It was built by Suryadev Singh, who came to Dhanbad in search of a job in the 1950s and started working under the then coal mafia leader B.P. Sinha. After Sinha was murdered, Suryadev Singh overtook the business of his late boss and became a don of the coal fields.
The mansion governed the whole political scenario of Dhanbad and surrounding areas effectively, since 1977. Senior journalist Pankaj Kumar who covered the emerging power of Suryadev Singh said, "Singh Mansion became the power centre after 1977 when Suryadev Singh was elected an MLA from Jharia Assembly seat for the first time."
"He enjoyed the support of labour union which he had formed. Later, he started controlling the market and politics as he remained MLA until his death in 1991. In his regime, Singh Mansion had become the second name of power," said Pankaj Kumar.
During the period from 1977-1991, Singh Mansion entrenched its power deeply not only into the political arena, but it took control over almost everything. Be it coal mining, market and gangs - everything got a governing headquarters, i.e., Singh Mansion.
Such was the influence of Suryadev Singh that it even brought the former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar to his door.
"He had good talking terms with former PM Chandrashekhar. They both belonged to the same district in Uttar Pradesh. Apart from this, he had sheltered a good number of UP-based gangsters to have control over the coal fields. All these things subsequently helped him to become a don," says Pankaj Kumar.
After Suryadev Singh, no one from his family contested elections. His brother contested and won assembly election in 1999. Later, his wife Kunti Devi became MLA on BJP ticket from the same constituency. She got elected for two terms.
The legacy was followed by his son Sanjeev Singh, who is a sitting MLA from Jharia and is in jail on charges of murdering his cousin.
However, this powerful family faced in-house rift too. Over ambition to acquire even more power led to conspiracies and killing within the family. The main reason behind this was to get absolute power over the coal fields. This rift became the main factor why the Singh Mansion lost its influence in Dhanbad.
Presently, there are three power centres in Dhanbad- Singh Mansion, Kunti Niwas and Raghukul. To reinstate its lost power, the Singh Mansion once again has jumped into the political arena.
Siddharth Gautam, the youngest son of Suryadev Singh is contesting independently from Dhanbad Lok Sabha seat. Talking about this move and present circumstances, Gautam said, "Singh Mansion is not just a house. It's an ideology. People of Dhanbad need me. My background is politics only. Right from my father to brother, all served the people of Dhanbad."
On the other hand, Singh Mansion remained in headlines for its involvement in numbers of killings due to personal and professional rivalries. Present MLA of Jharia and second son of Suryadev Singh is in jail in a similar case. "All these matters related to my family is in court, I don't want to say much on this," Gautam added.
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