BJP flaunts JMM rebel

Chief minister’s honey, age jibes on Bidyut Baran’s big day

By Our Correspondent in Jamshedpur
  • Published 21.04.19, 12:04 AM
  • Updated 21.04.19, 12:04 AM
  • 2 mins read
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CM Raghubar Das and MP Bidyut Baran Mahto on their way to the collectorate in Sakchi, Jamshedpur, on Saturday. (Bhola Prasad)

Chief minister Raghubar Das who on Saturday accompanied BJP party colleague and sitting Jamshedpur MP Bidyut Baran Mahto as the latter filed his nomination seeking a fresh term went on to launch a full frontal attack on the JMM, which has fielded Champai Soren as the grand alliance candidate against Mahto.

The BJP also flaunted JMM rebel MLA Jai Prakash Bhai Patel, who announced his support to the NDA on Friday, at the Saturday rally preceding Mahto’s nomination. “The fact that he (Patel) is here shows everything (that is wrong) with the JMM,” Das told the crowd of around 6,000 at a Maidan near Bodhi temple in Sakchi around 12.30pm before Mahto filed his nomination papers at the collectorate 1km away. “Presence of Patel (here) shows the importance of development and good governance, which was not evident during JMM’s tenure in Jharkhand,” the chief minister said.

Describing JMM as Jharkhand Mudra Mochan (money churning) party, Das alleged “only one family” had gained after the state was carved out of Bihar but without naming the Sorens. “It (JMM) has looted adivasis and moolvasis,” the CM said.

The 63-year-old Das added that the JMM had become a budhha morcha (old party) with people like Shibu Soren and Champai Soren. Champai and Das are roughly of the same age.

JMM rebel MLA Jai Prakash Bhai Patel (extreme right) with other NDA leaders on the dais at the rally before Mahto filed his papers.
JMM rebel MLA Jai Prakash Bhai Patel (extreme right) with other NDA leaders on the dais at the rally before Mahto filed his papers. (Bhola Prasad)

Patel said the JMM has become baap-beta ka party (father-son party) and committed workers like him, who were part of Jharkhand movement, were being ignored. “Why only do members of the Soren family become chief minister?” he asked.

Apart from the JMM rebel leader, others on the dais were state BJP president Laxman Gilua, food minister Saryu Roy, party general secretary Deepak Prakash, BJP MLAs Menaka Sardar (Potka), Sadhucharan Mahto (Ichhagarh), Laxman Tudu (Ghatshila), state BJP spokesperson Rajesh Shukla, NDA ally Ajsu’s supremo Sudesh Mahto and MLA (Jugsalai) Ramchandra Sahis.

Taking pot shots at Congress, Das said the grand old party loves madhu (honey) and made an independent MLA Madhu Koda CM after toppling the BJP-led Arjuna Munda government. “Yeh madhu mithas ab bhi itna pasand hai Congress ko (The Congress loves honey’s sweetness even now),” the chief minister said, adding that was why Madhu’s wife Geeta was fielded from Singhbhum as an alliance candidate and not any JMM candidate.

Mahto, in turn, tore into Champai’s claims of being a statehood leader. “Champai just roamed around Adityapur industrial area and took feedback of the Jharkhand agitation sitting at his home,” Mahto, who was himself in the JMM before shifting to the BJP before the last Lok Sabha elections, said.

Both Das and Mahto stressed on bringing PM Narendra Modi back to power in the interest of national security, claiming “Modiji made a strong India”. “Modiji showed his 56 inch chest with the Balakot air strike,” Mahto said.

Das also listed out achievements by the Narendra Modi government at the Centre and the BJP-led government in Jharkhand. “Over 20 lakh women have been handed over gas burners and LPG cylinders under Ujjwala scheme in Jharkhand. Ours is the first state in the country which has given free LPG cylinders to 20 lakh women and 17 lakh more would benefit by the end of this year ,” Das said, claiming they had constructed 100 per cent toilets under the Swachh Bharat mission. He said his government has formed 1.08 sakhi mandals and helped women register property of up to Rs 50 lakh for only Re 1.

BJP women wing members sported Narendra Modi masks while youths wore tees embossed with Bidyut Baran Mahto’s pictures. Nagada beats and Chhau dance upped the spirit in run-up to Mahto’s filing of nomination. Das, Mahto and other leaders went in an open jeep to the DC-cum-returning officer Amit Kumar’s office. Mahto submitted his papers in the presence of CM and other leaders.