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Simon’s expel chant as exit face-saver

Ranchi, May 7: A day after JMM MLA Simon Marandi’s cabinet dismissal and showcause for “anti-party activities”, the veteran today lashed out at the Sorens, with whom he has had an association as old as chief minister Hemant Soren, in a desperate bid to court expulsion.

“I received the showcause from the party that asked me to explain my undisciplined behaviour during Lok Sabha poll campaign within 10 days. I replied to the showcause, requesting the party to expel me,” Simon said, the unsaid implication being that if expelled, he would not need to defect to another party and hence save his Assembly membership.

“JMM dalalon ki party ban gayi hai (JMM has become a party of powerbrokers). The chief minister’s political secretary (Himanshu Shekhar Choudhary) is running the government by proxy,” said the newly minted motor mouth.

The party has called a meeting of central committee officials and district presidents and secretaries on May 12. “We served him (Simon) a showcause yesterday to which he has replied. But I am yet to see it. A final decision (on him) would be taken on May 12,” Vinod Kumar Pandey, JMM senior leader told The Telegraph.

“I was prepared for all these (cabinet dismissal and showcause). The party is in a dictatorship mode. Let JMM first expel me, then will I decide what to do,” Simon said when asked about his plans to sit in Opposition.

Simon, who condemns “dynastic politics” in JMM “started” by JMM chief Shibu Soren, sees no irony in the fact that he also wanted to establish his own via his son.

The veteran badly wanted his son Dinesh William to get the JMM ticket for Rajmahal, an ST reserved seat in Santhal Pargana this Lok Sabha elections, He was left fuming to see Hemant field Youth Congress turncoat Vijay Hansda instead.

A disgruntled Simon went so far as to campaign in Rajmahal to queer the pitch for the JMM, asking voters to favour BJP or JVM but not the party he represented.

Inside JMM, the veteran’s antics left many disturbed. Off the record, many denounced Simon’s behaviour more strongly than that of the other disgruntled old-timer, Hemlal Murmu, who snapped ties with the JMM on being denied the Rajmahal ticket, joined the BJP and contested as an MP aspirant from the reserved seat for his new party.

“We find no logic in his (Simon’s) opportunistic demands. We have bestowed much respect to the old leader. He has been an MP, an MLA, a minister in the Hemant Soren cabinet. His wife Shushila Hansda has represented the JMM from Littipara Assembly seat in the past,” said a party official.


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