Bokaro is as synonymous with SAIL as it is with the Soren family. The birthplace of ‘swadeshi’ steel plant is also where a young Shibu Soren’s political career took off.
Four decades ago, when Soren was desperately looking for a destination to launch his tribal uprising against the money lenders, he chose Bokaro. The city was not only strategically located but was also well connected with rail and road transport.
In fact, Soren’s sons — Shibu Soren-Durga, Hemant and Basant — were brought up in Bokaro. However, none launched their political careers from here.
Even after a 40-year-old association with the Soren clan, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has failed to cut much ice in Bokaro.
Former chief minister Hemant Soren, who is contesting from Dumka, has never fought a single election from here. In fact, the JMM did not field a candidate from here till 1995 except in 1985. JMM contested 2000, 2005 and 2009 assembly polls, but failed.
“Bokaro is Soren’s adoptive home — his native place being Nemra in Ramgarh district — but the family never stayed here for long,” JMM’s trade union wing general secretary BK Chaudhary said, adding that Shibu Soren had shifted his political movement to Dumka and used Bokaro only as their transit home.
However, JMM supporters in Bokaro claim the party JMM has strong hold over the rural areas.
(With inputs from Sanjay Sahay in Bokaro)