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JMM: a family party

Dumka, Feb. 1: The JMM’s midnight rally, conventionally held at Gandhi Maidan in Dumka on February 2 to mark the party’s foundation day, this year endorsed the “undisputed supremacy” of the Soren family in the organisation.

While party patriarch Shibu Soren has already passed on the baton to son Hemant Soren, eliminating any doubt about who would lead the outfit in the future, the JMM’s 35th Jharkhand Diwas Rally further consolidated the position of Soren’s sons, including Basant, in the organisation.

Photographs of Soren and his sons dominated all the posters, hoardings and banners erected across the town for the rally with all senior party leaders being conspicuously missing from them.

None of the senior party leaders, including minister Simon Marandi, former Rajmahal MP Hemlal Murmu, Shikaripara MLA Nalin Soren and the last but not the least Sita Soren, found any place in the party hoardings.

Political observers said it was apparent that the Sorens were trying to maintain the family’s stranglehold on the party, even though Guruji had stepped aside from the day-to-day affairs.

“Undoubtedly Guruji’s legacy can be carried forward by only his sons. Soren still commands unparalleled support of the tribal community. Even Hemant enjoys support of common party cadres,” JMM central committee member Vijay Singh opined.

In this regard, following in footsteps of elder brother Hemant, Basant has expressed his willingness to enter the electoral politics in the coming days.

“I am ready to contest elections if the party so wishes,” Basant, who is the president of Jharkhand Yuva Chhatra Morcha, the youth and students’ wing of the JMM, told The Telegraph at Circuit House today.

He led all the preparations for this year’s rally to demonstrate JMM’s might in Santhal Pargana. Thousands of JMM supporters, largely belonging to tribal community, arrived in Dumka from different parts of the region to participate in the rally.