It is very important to understand the real reasons behind this storm in Jharkhand politics.


Recently, in the neighboring state of Bihar, the Nitish Kumar led government with Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav fell in a very dramatic manner and by the evening once again the Nitish government was formed with the support of BJP. Now it was Jharkhand’s turn, obviously Jharkhand also did not want to lag behind in this. After all, it is an election year, how can any party or state avoid political games like theatrics, party switching etc. So, now the political game continues in Jharkhand. If we look at the recent developments in Jharkhand, it will be easily understood that if the political game was a sports competition, then Jharkhand could have won the gold medal by defeating its mother state Bihar, but no problem, the parties playing political games. And the leaders know very well that even if they do not get ‘gold medal’ in this game, they will definitely get ‘vote medal’, which is more important for them than ‘gold medal’. However, when the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is investigating alleged old cases of irregularities in land purchase, illegal mining and money laundering in the state of Jharkhand, sought time to interrogate Chief Minister Hemant Soren, Hemant allegedly absconded. Perhaps he was anticipating being arrested by the ED after questioning.

If seen, Hemant Soren’s family has a long history of absconding due to fear of arrest. Earlier, his father Shibu Soren, who joined the Union Cabinet as Coal Minister in May 2004, also had to go underground when the sword of arrest was hanging over him in the 30-year-old case of Chirudih massacre. When no information was received from anywhere regarding him, the then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had asked for his resignation. Thus, just two and a half months after becoming a minister, Shibu Soren sent his resignation to the Prime Minister through fax. At the same time, after getting bail in November 2004, he was again included in the Union Cabinet. In his book ‘Shikhar Tak Sangharsh’, Prakash Chandra Parakh, who was then Secretary in the Union Coal Ministry, has described Shibu Soren as a minister with a personal agenda and has written that Shibu Soren did not agree with him on many issues and had also written a letter to the Prime Minister for his transfer. wrote. Shibu Soren and Parakh never agreed on matters ranging from recruitment to coal allocation. It is important to mention that it was Shri Parakh who exposed the sensational case of coal scam during the time of UPA government, after which he became famous as ‘whistleblower’.

The Chirudih case, in which Shibu Soren had absconded due to fear of arrest, was a case of a gruesome massacre that took place in 1975. At that time, Shibu Soren was a young and sharp politician. He was running a fierce movement against the moneylenders in various areas of Santhal Pargana. At that time Chirudih area of ​​Santhal Pargana was attached to Bhagalpur Commissionerate, but when the matter came to light after 30 years, Chirudih had become a part of Jamtara district. According to reports, a total of 13 people were killed in that Chirudih massacre. 09 Muslims were also among the dead. It is said that Shibu Soren’s supporters had committed violence against the so-called ‘Diku’ people in Chirudih on 23 January 1975. In Jharkhand, ‘Diku’ refers to those people whom Shibu Soren and his supporters consider as outsiders and often force them to migrate. Although Shibu Soren’s name was not in the initial police report of the Chirudih massacre case, his name was also included in the charge sheet presented by the police in the court. Let us tell you that by the time this case came to light in 2004, 25 out of 69 accused and 20 out of 40 witnesses had died. In 2002, the then Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court, VK Gupta, had ordered the formation of a fast track court in this case. In June 2004, police officers were sent to Delhi to arrest Shibu Soren. In those days, due to the Parliament session going on, the permission of the Speaker of the Lok Sabha was necessary before the arrest and by the time the permission was given, Shibu Soren had gone underground.

However, political developments in Jharkhand changed rapidly and Hemant Soren appeared in Ranchi after a day of alleged missing from Delhi. On January 31, ED took him into custody after interrogating him. At present, the court has sent him to jail in judicial custody for one day, while the debate on whether he should be sent to ED custody or not is to be held in the court again on Friday. However, before his arrest, Hemant Soren held a meeting with JMM and INDIA alliance MLAs and tried his best to convince fellow parties and JMM MLAs to make his wife Kalpana Soren the CM in the event of his arrest, but this was opposed by his sister-in-law Sita Soren. After this he had to change his tactics. Sources are also telling that some JMM MLAs had also expressed objection in the name of Kalpana. By the way, about four to six JMM MLAs are said to be out of reach of the newly elected leader of the party’s legislature party, Champai Soren, till Thursday afternoon. This is the same MLA who was also missing from Hemant’s meeting. On the other hand, BJP’s Jharkhand in-charge reached Ranchi as soon as this political drama started and according to sources, if the INDIA coalition government is not formed soon for some reason, then the MLAs of the ruling parties, especially JMM and Congress, will leave and join the BJP. is likely to.

However, there is also a possibility that the four to six JMM MLAs who are still missing may be in contact with BJP leaders. To avoid possible discord among the MLAs, the MLAs of the INDIA alliance were kept locked in a room in the Circuit House in Ranchi, and were to be sent to Bangalore by a chartered ship. At the same time, JMM is now trying to create such an environment within the state, in which it can show itself innocent among the people of the state and can prove BJP to be a killer of democracy by accusing it of being involved in trying to topple the government. This is the reason that when Hemant Soren was being interrogated by the ED at the Chief Minister’s residence, JMM workers and supporters in different areas of the state, armed with traditional weapons, took up a violent movement. Later, announcing a one-day bandh after the arrest of Hemant Soren is also being said to be a part of this plan. Thus, JMM made every effort to convey the message to the public that Hemant Soren is completely washed up, while the BJP government at the Center is busy managing its opponents through ED and CBI.

-Chetnaditya Alok

(Senior journalist, litterateur and political analyst, Ranchi)

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