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Tribute to slain leader

Jamshedpur, Dec. 25: The 63rd birth anniversary of former JMM president and one of the architects of Jharkhand movement Nirmal Mahto was celebrated today with chief minister Hemant Soren and party supremo Shibu Soren attending a function at Samadhi Sthal at Uliyan.

Later, Hemant also garlanded Mahto’s bust near Tata Steel guesthouse, where he was shot dead.

The chief minister reached Samadhi Sthal at Uliyan in Kadma around 1pm. JMM patriarch Shibu Soren, transport and tribal welfare minister Champai Soren and other senior leaders accompanied him. They paid floral tributes to the slain leader.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister recalled Nirmal Mahto’s contribution to formation of Jharkhand. “On this day, people from across the state remember their beloved leader. No one in Jharkhand can forget the struggle of Nirmal Mahto,” he said.

Hemant went on to say that his government had launched several development projects that would help in improving the living standard of Jharkhand’s masses.

Later, speaking to mediapersons at Circuit House, Hemant said steps would be taken to promote industries in the state. Answering a query on the ongoing shutdown at Tata Motors and the auto major’s plans to shift production to Uttarakhand, the chief minister said his government would promote companies in Jharkhand so that they did not migrate to other states.

“We are working out strategies to promote trade and industry. The industry department is working out plans to boost the sector,” he said, adding that his government would ensure Jharkhand became a manufacturing hub.

He appealed to industries to incorporate positive initiatives in their investment plans. “Industries need to add value to raw materials and create employment opportunities for local people through skill development,” the chief minister signed off.

Nirmal Mahto’s sibling Sudhir Mahto, who is former deputy chief minister of the state, said celebrations would continue for three days.

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