Jamshedpur, March 24: What was speculation till now was confirmed by land revenue minister Dulal Bhuiyan here today.
He claimed to have heard from the horse’s mouth that Jamshedpur MP Sunil Mahto was killed by Maoists because he had failed to pay them the promised sum of Rs 10 crore in lieu of helping him win the election to the Lok Sabha in 2004.
Bhuiyan, who was addressing a JMM rally here today, disclosed that he had participated in a German radio programme on March 6 with the national general secretary of the CPI(Maoist), one A.K. Singh.
During the tele-conference, the minister said, he had asked Singh why Mahto was gunned down. The conversation, he claimed, took place between 7 and 8 pm, soon after the MP was cremated.
Bhuiyan called upon the Maoists to enter into a dialogue with the government. If the rebels fail to respond and resolve differences amicably, he threatened, the JMM would not hesitate to launch a massive “sendra” (literally a hunt) of the Maoists.
The rally, attended by Shibu Soren’s wife, Rupi Soren, deputy chief minister Sudhir Mahto and several other JMM ministers, put its seal on Sunil Mahto’s widow, Suman, contesting the by-election to fill up the vacancy in the Lok Sabha created by her husband’s assassination.