Chief minister Hemant Soren with Shreya, the youngest daughter of Sabita Mahto (left), at her residence in Jamshedpur on Sunday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Jamshedpur, March 9: Chief minister Hemant Soren today offered a ticket to Sabita Mahto, the widow of senior JMM leader and former deputy chief minister Sudhir Mahto, to contest Lok Sabha elections from Jamshedpur seat.
Sabita, however, declined the offer citing that she had the responsibility of raising her four daughters alone and would not be able to serve the constituency effectively.
“I do welcome the party’s gesture to offer me a ticket to contest the polls. But, I have my priorities. My daughters are my priority. I will, however, continue to work for the party as and when situation demands,” Sabita told mediapersons after Hemant visited her residence at Uliyan, Kadma, in the steel city along his cabinet colleague and senior party leader Champai Soren.
They stayed there for well over 90 minutes.
Sabita, the chairman of Jharkhand State Agricultural Marketing Board, revealed that her late husband had once told her never to contest the Lok Sabha elections.
It may be recalled that the chief minister had earlier made it clear that following a pre-poll alliance with Congress, the JMM would field candidates in four constituencies in Jharkhand.
“As Jamshedpur is one of these four seats, the party’s central committee’s first choice was Sabita Mahto. But she declined our offer. We respect her decision,” Hemant said.
He added that party president Shibu Soren would now decide the new candidate for Jamshedpur as well as those for the other seats by March 11.
Asked which were the other three constituencies where the party would field candidates, Hemant only took the name of one — Giridih. He refused to name the rest two.
What will be JMM’s poll plank?
“Development,” pat came the chief minister’s reply.
“We will go to the voters seeking their blessings for making Jharkhand a stronger and prosperous state,” he added.
On another question that that some local JMM leaders in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district had tied up with Biju Janata Dal (BJD), he said that only the party supremo could give his nod to the alliance in Odisha.
Hemant also revealed that JMM was getting offers for poll tie-up in Bihar but stated that a decision to this effect would be taken by Guruji and the party’s central committee soon.