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Russian Consulate writes to Jharkhand CM: BJP MLA blocking work, seeking money, jobs

Mahato said it was a conspiracy against him and that he was prepared for any probe. The Chief Minister’s office, however, denied having received any such letter.

Written by Prashant Pandey | Ranchi | Published: February 17, 2016 12:02 am

A controversy has erupted over a letter written by the Russian Consul General in Kolkata to Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das complaining against BJP MLA Dhulu Mahato.

The letter accuses Mahato, MLA from Baghmara in Dhanbad district, of obstructing work of a Russian company engaged with Coal India subsidiary Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) in his area while demanding money and jobs for locals.

Mahato said it was a conspiracy against him and that he was prepared for any probe. The Chief Minister’s office, however, denied having received any such letter.

The police, meanwhile, have registered an FIR against unidentified persons in connection with obstruction of work in areas where the Russian company was working.

In the Assembly on Tuesday, Mahato got up several times to “clear the air” on the issue. However, Speaker Dinesh Oraon did not permit him on the ground that no formal allegation had been levelled against him in the House. Leader of Opposition and JMM leader Hemant Soren said the matter would be taken up at an appropriate time. He added, however, that the state should clarify the facts in this regard.

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The letter, addressed to Das, was issued on January 27 by Russian Consul General Irina K Bashkirova. The press attaché of the Consulate General confirmed that the letter was issued. “We have not got any official response so far. Yet, we would like to thank the government as the problem has been sorted out, though partly,” said the spokesperson.

The spokesperson added that, as per the reports from the Russian company, their experts, engaged in maintenance of heavy equipment, will be allowed to work without hindrance.

The CMO maintained it had not received such a letter. “If such a correspondence is received, the official machinery would come into the picture. But we are yet to receive any such letter,” said a spokesperson.

It all started when the director general of Russian company IZ-Kartex complained to the consulate on January 18 about problems being faced by its team. The letter alleged that ever since the company began work in December 2014, Mahato and his trade union (United Coal Workers’ Union, affiliated to AITUC) aides had organised strikes and obstructed entry of Russian specialists into their area of work — Block-II and Katras areas of Dhanbad. It further alleged: “The demands of monthly payment of a certain amount of money in favour of Mr Dhulu Mahato and giving employment to 40 of his people were also put forward.”

The letter has been in circulation in the political establishment here, and a copy of the same is with this newspaper.

Baghmara police registered an FIR on February 13 against unidentified persons for obstructing a government servant from duty. Dhanbad SSP Surendra Jha said: “There was a general complaint from BCCL, following which we registered an FIR. We are providing them (Russian experts) security and have assured cooperation.”

BCCL General Manager (Block-II), Somen Chatterjee, said: “There is no instance of physical manhandling. But there was a demand for starting work in three shifts and for employing locals.”

Mahato told The Indian Express that he never met the Russian experts or made any demand from them. “It is all lies. I am appealing to the CM to institute a high-level inquiry so that the truth comes out,” he said.

He added: “There is nothing wrong in taking up the cause of labourers.” The party was with him, he said.

State BJP spokesperson Mohammad Kamal Khan said: “There is nothing prima facie wrong in an MLA asking a company to employ local people. As for investor confidence, our government’s policies are clear and welcome business enterprises. But it is being done to give employment to our youth.”

Mahato, who has several cases against him pertaining to obstructing official work, was caught in a controversy a few months ago when the government moved to withdraw a case on him. While the court rejected the application, the BJP government was accused of shielding its members.

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  1. T
    Feb 17, 2016 at 4:11 am
    the suion of Russians is not without basis. The state-owned coal mines of Bihar (now Jharkhand after the division of Bihar state) were among the first areas in India to see the emergence of a sophisticated mafia, beginning with the mining town of Dhanbad. It is alleged that the coal industry's trade union leadership forms the upper echelon of this arrangement and employs caste allegiances to maintain its power. Pilferage and of coal on the black market, inflated or ficious supply expenses, falsified worker contracts and the expropriation and leasing-out of government land have allegedly become routine. A parallel economy has developed with a significant fraction of the local potion emplo by the mafia in manually transporting the stolen coal for long distances over unpaved roads to illegal mafia warehouses and points of . The coal mafia has had a negative effect on Indian industry, with coal supplies and quality varying erratically. Higher quality coal is sometimes selectively diverted, and missing coal is replaced with stones and boulders in railway cargo wagons. A human corpse has been discovered in a sealed coal wagon.
    1. A
      Feb 26, 2016 at 12:16 pm
      he is a fraud MLA and he always demanding crore of ruppes from new person come to dhanbad my self Ankush Gupta and manoj upnon partners of upmon tradiing of company haryana faridabad we took a company in Bagmara tundoo dhanbad and he always fight with us and disturb us and demanding for lots of money he is not a MLA Our honourable prime minister Modi ji choose a wrong person for Dhanbad development i spend lakhs of rupees but failed to do my work. some unknown people came and physically asault us so many times and to stop doing our work
      1. B
        Bijan Mohanty
        Feb 20, 2016 at 1:52 pm
        This is the true face of Modi party. They talk of all great things and do all mean things. Look at the great BJP MLA who is asking money/bribe to the extent that a foreign govt. had to lodge complaint.
        1. B
          Feb 17, 2016 at 3:07 am
          Absolute power corrupts absolutely. BJP is absolutely corrupt party.
          1. Gopal Agarwal
            Feb 17, 2016 at 5:48 am
            Dhulu Mahato kind of MLA are Black Spot for Dhanbad. His nature and work always disturbed the coal field area. BJP shutting down own image by supporting this kind of Mafia.
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