'BJP has the police, I have people'

  • Shaji Joseph, PTI, Ranchi
  • |
  • Updated: Aug 03, 2004 23:39 IST

Why have you adopted the path of a fugitive rather than face the legal challenge? Does it not lower your status in public life?

You are free to call me an absconder or fugitive but I have decided not to get into a confrontation with the police because it could create complete lawlessness in Jharkhand. As a leader of the masses, there were several such hide-and-seek episodes during the Jharkhand agitation.

Who do you believe is responsible for your unceremonious exit from the Cabinet?

The BJP has plotted this episode to harass me and set the state on flames so they can get electoral mileage in the assembly polls and at the same time take revenge for the Lok Sabha poll reverses suffered recently. The BJP has the police and the administration with it but I have the people of Jharkhand behind me.

When can the people get to see you in public? Don't they have the right to know your whereabouts?

I am in contact with my party functionaries and hence the masses are not bothered about my whereabouts. They know Sibu Soren and they will see me leading their agitation against fascist and exploitative forces holding the reins of power in the state.

Do you think your rivals, including a section of the Congress leadership, in Jharkhand have revived the Chirudih massacre case?

This is what the BJP leaders are now spreading because Babulal Marandi and Arjun Munda are now realising their folly. Having suffered loss of face in the Rajya Sabha on the same issue, they are now trying to shift the blame on the Congress hoping this could drive a wedge into the UPA and get the JMM out of the alliance before the assembly elections. The BJP will not succeed in their attempt to break the unity of the secular forces nor win elections in Gujarat-style in Jharkhand. They only want me to sever ties with the Congress.

What would you do if the high court rejects your plea? Will you surrender or appeal in the Supreme Court?

My next course of action will depend on the direction of the high court. I have faith in the judiciary and hence I have opted to seek relief from the court against the tyranny and misuse of power by the state government. If my plea is rejected, I will consult my lawyers and adopt the next suitable legal course. But above all, I believe in the judgment of the people and you can be sure that I will make my appeal finally in the people’s court and I am sure the popular verdict will be in my favour and against the NDA.


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