Dumka, April 9: The JMM may find itself in an uncomfortable position when the fresh Rajya Sabha elections are announced with party members at the organisational level pushing for a nominee from within.
Clearing miffed that the top brass chose to field “outsiders” in subsequent polls to the Upper House when able candidates were present in the party itself, not to forget the recent cash-for-vote row, the district JMM committee has resolved to propose the name of senior leader and member of state co-ordination committee Vijay Singh as nominee. The decision was taken at the committee’s emergent meeting presided over by president Subhash Singh yesterday.
Vijay has been associated with the JMM for over two-and-a-half decades and commands great respect among the workers of Santhal Pargana.
“The general JMM cadres have been shamed by the dubious conduct of party MLAs during the Rajya Sabha elections. They are of the opinion that a local, devoted leader and not any outsider should be given an opportunity to enter the House of Elders,” Subhash told The Telegraph.
He added that as the party organisation was largely instrumental in securing votes during both Lok Sabha and the Assembly elections, the party leadership must honour its wish. “It has been unanimously decided that we will take the protest path if our demand to field Vijay Singh as Rajya Sabha nominee is not met,” he added.
Subhash further went on to add that Santhal Pargana had played a crucial role during the separate statehood movement, bringing the JMM into limelight. “Hence, it’s the prerogative of the party organisation, not the MLAs, to name the candidate for the Rajya sabha elections. This time, the candidate must belong to Santhal Pargana for 10 out of total 20 party MLAs represent the region alone,” he added.
Media in-charge of district JMM Prakash Chandra Gandharva reasoned that Vijay Singhji had contributed a lot in strengthening the party base in Santhal Pargana. “Therefore, his nomination for the Rajya Sabha seat will motivate the party workers,” he said.
Notably, JMM chief Shibu Soren and former deputy chief minister Stephen Marandi, both of whom have risen from Santhal Pargana, were earlier elected to the Rajya Sabha.
Marandi parted ways with the JMM and relinquished the Rajya Sabha seat after winning the Assembly elections from Dumka as a rebel Independent nominee.