Ranchi: Teklal Mahto, a Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) legislator who was in hospital for several days, died of a heart attack here early Tuesday, doctors said.

He was 72.Mahto was admitted at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) for the last few days. He is survived by two sons and three daughters. He breathed his last at 5 a.m.

A legislator from Mandu constituency, Mahto was a vocal leader and one of the few legislators opposed to supporting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in the state.

A five-time legislator, Mahto got elected to Lok Sabha in 2004 from Giridih.

Chief Minister Arjun Munda, JMM chief Shibu Soren, and others visited RIMS to pay tribute to the departed leader.

Terming Mahto's demise as a big loss for the state, Munda said: “He was one of the key people behind the (movement for a) separate Jharkhand.”