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Samresh cools down, ‘raw deal’ hits JD-U

Ranchi, March 7: Disgruntled yesterday over his favourites not getting party tickets, JVM vice-president and Bokaro MLA Samresh Singh, set to contest the Dhanbad Lok Sabha seat, today held meetings with his diehard supporters.

In no mood today to add fuel to fire over his announcement to quit the JVM election committee last evening, the poll war veteran appeared enthusiastic about his own Dhanbad campaign.

Singh, a many-time MLA who hasn’t won a Lok Sabha election, however defended his choice of nominees — incarcerated Baghmara MLA Dhullu Mahto for Giridih and former Marwari College principal Jawed Ahmad for Ranchi — which found no favour with the JVM.

Babulal Marandi’s party gave Giridih and Ranchi tickets to veteran Saba Ahmad and JSCA boss and political debutante Amitabh Chaudhary.

Singh, however, is mellower than yesterday.

“Fielding Javed Ahmed in Ranchi would have had sent a good signal to the minority community. Dhullu Mahto would have been a better choice in Giridih as he would have got sympathy votes. But, there is no point talking about these things now,” Singh told The Telegraph.

JVM is keen to present a united front.

Principal general secretary Pradip Yadav said: “The party had not received Singh’s resignation (from the election committee) as yet. He may have said something in rage. We should respect his seniority. Ticket distribution was finalised after thorough talks on a wide range of issues. It is practically difficult to please everyone.”

Insiders said Singh was interested in Mahto’s ticket for Giridih as the later was involved in coal trade union politics and his loyalty would have helped Singh’s Dhanbad campaign. Also, had Ahmad been JVM’s Ranchi candidate, Singh might have influenced minority community voters.

But it was clear JVM was keen on Amitabh Chaudhary after another supercop-turned-political newbie Ajoy Kumar turned the party’s fortunes in the Jamshedpur bypoll in 2011.

“Chaudhary agreed to join our party only after being assured he would get the Ranchi ticket. Ajoy Kumar’s success in Jamshedpur ignited the political ambitions of many serving and retired bureaucrats,” said a JVM leader.

“Fielding Saba Ahmad in Giridih was our compulsion as he is a senior politician from the minority community,” the leader added.

An interesting sidelight of JVM’s announcement is JD(U)’s reaction to the perceived raw deal.

The JVM and JD(U) agreed to help each other in Jharkhand and Bihar. But, recent developments — the JVM going for Lok Sabha seats alone — have made Babulal Marandi’s party come across as “self-willed” to JD(U).

“A team of central leaders has arrived to take stock of the situation and finalise our candidates. We are confident of giving a tough fight in Godda, Rajmahal, Giridih, Chatra, Palamau and Khunti. It is ridiculous that on one hand the JVM is talking about forming a strong third front to keep Congress and BJP at bay and on the other hand going on with its self-willed style of functioning,” state JD(U) president Jaleshwar Mahto said.