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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Small issues became big’

Ranchi, Jan. 8: Sudesh Mahto, deputy chief minister in the troubled government of Arjun Munda, believes that accumulation of small issues among the allies ultimately blew out of proportion, leading to the political crisis in Jharkhand.

Advocating a fresh mandate, the Ajsu chief said, “The co-ordination committee of the ruling NDA alliance was a non-starter and small issues could have been resolved had the meetings of the committee been held regularly.”

JMM chief Shibu Soren was the chairman of the co-ordination committee. But Mahto refrained from blaming him directly for the present political mess.

The communication gap among the allies widened, he said, resulting in the ultimate fallout: the JMM pulling out of the coalition formerly today and the state cabinet recommending dissolution of the Assembly.

Mahto said Ajsu would prefer elections to any new formations. “Many political parties have been saying that Jharkhand required a new mandate. Now they should pitch for it.”

Asked about the recurrence of the scenario since the creation of the state over 12 years ago, he said, “Mandates had been fractured, yet we respected them and formed governments. Now the people should be allowed to decide once again through elections.”

Mahto said there was an idea that increasing the seats (of the House) could solve the crisis in Jharkhand. “If that is so, the Election Commission of India should consider this. Even our Assembly has twice passed resolutions to increase the seats from 82 to 150,” he said.