In a major setback to Janata Dal (United) ahead of general elections, slated for next year, party's Jharkhand state president Jaleshwar Mahato has joined the Congress party. Mahato, who represented the Baghmara Assembly constituency during the year 2000 to 2009, was considered close to Bihar Chief Minister and party president Nitish Kumar. He joined the Congress party on Saturday in the national capital in presence of party president Rahul Gandhi. Mahato is Jharkhand State President of Janata Dal (United).
The former cabinet minister of Jharkhand is known for his infrastructural developments in the state during his tenure. According to reports, Congress leader Nirmal Singh played an instrumental role in making sure that Jaleshwar makes the switch. He has been critical of Dulu Mahato, a Jharkhand Vikas Morcha MLA Baghmara, off late.
When asked about his decision to join the Congress party, Mahto said that there was 'mafia raj' in the Baghmara constituency and he has joined the Congress to bring an end to it. It is being speculated that the Congress may field him as its candidate from Baghmara constituency in the next year Assembly elections.