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Since 1st March, 1999
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Suman skips meet, JMM cracks surface

Jamshedpur, April 12: Suman Mahto today dealt a blow to the poll prospects of the JMM by not attending a party meeting in Kadma to fix an internal feud with key functionary Vidyut Mahto.

The meeting was significant in view of burying the hatchet between the Suman faction and those loyal to former deputy chief minister Sudhir Mahto, but choosing no to turn up Suman has also displeased the Mahto community, which has a formidable votes in the Jamshedpur Lok Sabha constituency.

According to JMM sources, Sudhir had intimated Suman to come to his office at 10.30am for a reconciliatory meeting. Sudhir took up the initiative, as he felt the discontent among the party functionaries toward Suman would put an adverse impact on the poll.

Apart from JMM central committee general secretary Vidyut, other leaders like former minister Dulal Bhuiyan, central committee general secretaries Mohan Karmakar and Raju Giri were also intimated to attend the meeting. On the other hand, former MLA and Shibu Soren’s chief ministerial nominee Champai Soren and party spokesman Ramesh Hansda and Suman were intimated.

By 12 noon, all the leaders, including Vidyut, arrived, making Sudhir to wait patiently for Suman to turn up, which she never did. After some calls, Suman told Sudhir that she was “tired after campaigning late”. But when Sudhir called her up, she was in Kadma BH Area office.

Insiders claim it was a Mahto versus tribal fight within the JMM camp. Sources in the Sudhir camp said that despite being a widow of former MP Sunil Mahto, Suman has not been able to win hearts of the Mahtos in the district. Due to her sudden rise in politics after the assassination of Sunil two years ago, Suman has not at all been popular in the Mahto community.

The cracks had appeared when it was decided as to who should be the JMM’s official candidate. Vidyut, being a contender for the ticket, had to eat humble pie, but he did not co-operate in the electioneering either. Moreover, Suman has not been significant to any of the leaders belonging to the Mahto community, including Sudhir in the campaign.

As a close confidant of Sudhir maintains, Suman has not invited him to campaign in favour of the party. With the campaigning to go for another 10 days, the bickering in the JMM camp is still on, thus making the party’s prospects to retain the seat grim.

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