People are determined to vote for a change in state, says JMM’s Hemant Soren
JMM working president and the chief ministerial face Hemant Soren (44) has emerged as the main campaigner for the JMM, Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal (JDF) alliance in Jharkhand assembly elections.Updated: Dec 11, 2019 05:30 IST
With Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) president and former chief minister Shibu Soren (75) restricting himself to few token rallies owing to his old age and health, JMM working president and the chief ministerial face Hemant Soren (44) has emerged as the main campaigner for the JMM, Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal (JDF) alliance in Jharkhand assembly elections. He spoke on various election-related issues. Edited excerpts:
With two phases of polling over, in which direction do you see the election going?
If you observe my rallies, the turnout is huge. People who have gone outside for work are also returning home for the paddy harvest. As per the feedback from ground, people are determined to vote for change as there is clear anti-incumbency against Raghubar Das government.
What are the issues that are striking a chord with the electorate?
We are trying to make people understand the reality, about the local issues such as job loss, education, land related issues be it acquisition or amendments by the BJP in the land tenancy Acts.
But the BJP is raking up issues such as revocation of Article 370 and the Ayodhya temple besides development?
In the past five years, all that this double engine government (Narendra Modi and Raghubar Das government) has done is to stoke up sentimental issues in name of religion and nationalism. They are raising such issues because they do not have a single achievement to showcase. Will Modi come to take them to a hospital if they take ill? It is the state government which will do that.
You are contesting 44 of 81 seats, while the rest are being contested by Congress and RJD. How are they doing?
In the first phase, most of the seats were contested by the Congress and RJD. As per the feedback, both parties are doing well and we will win maximum seats there. We have done well in the second phase as well.
Will Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) , or JVM(P), which was your ally in the Lok Sabha polls, not divide opposition votes?
We tried our best to continue the alliance. But he (Babulal Marandi) had his own priorities. We ’ll see what happens.
And how do you see the spilt between the BJP and the All Jharkhand Students Union Party?
They are playing a fixed match. And people can see through it because you (AJSU chief Sudesh Mahto) are abusing it and are still part of the BJP government. At least have the shame to resign from the ministry.
You have raked the controversy surrounding CNT/SPT (Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act/Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act) and accused the BJP of trying to grab tribal land in your rallies. Why so?
I am raising the issue of CNT/SPT because they are the real issues of this state. As far as the allegation of CM being an outsider is concerned, I am speaking only about the CM. I am not talking about any other state citizen who is an original inhabitant.