Dhanbad/Ranchi: On Thursday, Kamala Devi, a female worker of the Bharatiya Janata Party tried self-immolating herself at the Katras police station, Dhanbad. Following which she alleged that Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)’s Baghmara MLA Dhullu Mahto and his aides have sexually harassed her and despite approaching the police, no action was being initiated against the accused.
On Friday, Mahto organised a press conference and alleged that Kamala who runs a beauty parlour is in multiple relationships and that Giridih’s MP Ravindra Pandey too had a relation with her. He further maintained that the allegations against him was a conspiracy hatched by the five times MP to malign his image. To strengthen his claim, Mahto produced pictures of Kamla with Giridih’s MP before the media persons.
Mahto, during the press meet even put forward a demand for the Central Bureau of Investigation to investigate his sexual harassment allegation case #MeToo. He declared, “I am ready to resign, if the MP also resigns and allows the CBI to investigate.”
However, Pandey refuted the allegations #MeToo and said that the MLA had lost his mental balance. “I do not have time for such trivial things, because it is a serious charge, he should face the inquiry,” the MP said.
Who is Dhullu or Dulu Mahto?
The 43-year-old Mahto is a two time MLA from Baghmara and considered a favourite of Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das. First time in 2009, he had won the election on a Jharkhand Vikash Morcha (JVM)’s ticket. But in 2014, he jumped the fence and joined BJP.
In 2014’s election affidavit, Mahto declared that there were at least 10 criminal cases pending against him, including an attempt to murder case. During his term as a BJP MLA, he has been accused of ransom and thrashing of policeman.
In July, Surjit Singh, manager of Oriental India, a coal outsourcing company had accused the MLA off issuing life threats to him. The MLA supporters had also beaten Vivek Batham, Oriental India’s engineer, for which the company had lodged a police complaint against the MLA and his supporters. In the ongoing term, the MLA has also been convicted in a case and spend 11 months in jail for eleven months.
The MLA now runs a self made force, called Tiger Force, a brainchild of Samresh Singh, a former MLA. The strongman is also considered Robin Hood by many. He has a website, www.dhullumahto.com, which mentions that, Mahto spent his early days in poverty and because of it, he could not study more than higher secondary. However, things seem to have changed for the 2014’s affidavit also showed that the self-made messiah of poor has at least four vehicles including one Fortuner.
Caste, Coal and Giridih Lok Sabha seat, the bone of contention
Though Mahto surname people in Jharkhand mostly belong to Kushwaha community, but Baghmara MLA is not a Kushwaha. In fact there is confusion about his caste, that whether he is from Teli caste, which comes under backward community, But some also says, he is a dalit.
But Mahto had always had the image of a strong man, who controls several coal depots in and around Dhanbad.
Because of coal business related rivalry, Mahto had also made corruption allegations against Giridih MP and said that, “Giridih MP owns 500 dumpers, which he bought through corrupt means.” According to him, these heavy vehicles are operational in several collieries of Jharkhand.
These allegations #MeToo were refuted by Pandey. But, then political observers say that BJP senior leaders are not happy with the work of five times MP and he will not be BJP candidate in 2019 Lok Sabha election. Many even presume that at the behest of other BJP leaders from Jharkhand who do not want Pandey to get a ticket, Mahto is preparing his ground.
And more than being of different caste background, and having involve in same coal trading, what is more vital is Mahto’s MLA constituency which is part of Giridih parliamentary constituency and the Mahto is one of the top contenders for BJP’s Lok Sabha candidature from Giridih.
Significantly, the allegation of #MeToo was slapped on Mahto immediately after a few days of Baghmara MLA organising a political rally at Pirtand, an important area of Giridih parliamentary constituency.
Amid all these, former Chief Minister of Jharkhand and JMM leader, Hemant Soren tweeted and expressed surprise that why MLA Dhullu Mahto is not behind bars, and BJP, which talks a lot about women safety, has not taken any action so far?