Will JMM back NDA’s President election candidate Murmu?
While the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) is among 17 opposition parties that have fielded former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha for the Presidential poll, the Shibu Soren-led party is likely to review its decision and back NDA nominee Droupadi Murmu who is in line to become the first tribal to hold the top most constitutional post.
According to JMM functionaries, it may be difficult for the party, which is known for being “for the tribals”, to ignore the fact that a tribal has been nominated to hold the top office.
“Ideologically, it will be difficult (for JMM) to be seen on the wrong side of history when a significant development for the community is being registered. Though Yashwant Sinha is also a Jharkhand leader, Murmu would be difficult to ignore, especially when parties like Biju Janata Dal have extended their support to Murmu, making it difficult for Sinha to pull a contest,” a senior JMM leader said on condition of anonymity.
JMM leaders also believe the party is likely to extend their support to the NDA nominee as she shares an ‘ideological as well as ‘personal connect’ with the Soren family.
“The two families are very comfortable with each other. The Sorens have many family relationships in the Mayurbhanj area, where Murmu comes from. Two daughters-in-law of Shibu Soren, including chief minister Hemant Soren’s wife, come from the same area. Hemant’s sister is also married to someone in the same area. So all these would weigh in favour of the party extending support to Murmu. However, the decision is to be taken by the leadership,” a second party leader said, also seeking anonymity.
Asked about the party’s position on the matter, Hemant Soren said: “The names have just been announced. The party will decide after a meeting.”
In the NDA’s case, Murmu’s name was among the first to do the rounds, although, as the decision neared, there was speculation of a more mainstream choice. By picking Murmu, a woman and a tribal, the BJP has yet again walked the talk on inclusion and empowerment.
BJP legislature party leader Babulal Marandi, in a post on social media, urged Hemant Soren to support Murmu’s candidature. “Your support would be remembered as a matter of pride in history for the tribal community,” he said.