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Sulking JMM in meet mode

Ranchi, April 27: The JMM has lined up a series of meetings from Monday in an apparent signal to “big brother” BJP that it was prepared for any eventuality now that it is clear it will have to contend with its ally’s Rajya Sabha nominee, S.S. Ahluwalia.

JMM central organisational secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya today said party chief Shibu Soren had convened a meeting of JMM district presidents and secretaries on April 30. It would be followed by a meeting of the party’s central executive committee and office bearers’ meeting.

The agenda, according to Bhattacharya, included discussions on the emerging political scenario and ensuring the victory of party nominee Sanjeev Kumar in the Rajya Sabha elections.

Party leaders will also take a decision on fighting the Hatia byelections, scheduled for June 12.

“Besides, we will also take stock of our booth committees, which play a crucial role in fighting elections, in various Assembly constituencies,” he pointed out.

The JMM’s move is being seen as a last-ditch attempt to pressure bring BJP chief Nitin Gadkari after he declined to pay heed to JMM’s veiled threat and instead called chief minister Arjun Munda, his deputies Hemant Soren and Sudesh Mahto, to Delhi on April 30 to find a solution to the controversy over Rajya Sabha candidates.

“We want to give a signal to the BJP that we are not afraid of coming out of the government if our candidate gets defeated in the elections,” said a JMM leader.

Deputy chief minister Hemant Soren said he had not been officially communicated about Gadkari’s April 30 invitation, added he was ready to accompany the chief minister to Delhi.

“We should not be blamed for snapping communication between alliance partners. Moreover, politics is always full of possibilities,” he maintained.

Hemant, however, iterated that it was wrong on the part of the BJP to field Ahluwalia for the re-elections when it had not put up a candidate in the elections of March 30.

The Congress, on the other hand, appeared to have enlisted support of Independent MLA Chamra Linda, who along with MLA Bandhu Tirkey and Congress Rajya Sabha MP Dheeraj Sahu called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday seeking his intervention to include Sarna religion in the Census.

Linda, who has extended support to the Munda government and proposed the nomination of the JMM candidate, could not be contacted.

But Tirkey said he was ready to extend issue based support to the Congress. “After all, the Prime Minister assured us to send a high-level committee to assess the demand to include Sarna religion in Census,” he said.