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"Corruption in 5 Years of BJP Govt in Jharkhand is an Issue," says JMM president Hemant Soren

My question is: If you talk about Kashmir in Jharkhand, where would we talk about the unemployment, lower industrial growth and corruption in Jharkhand: Hemant Soren

, ET Bureau|
Dec 02, 2019, 11.48 PM IST
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Jharkhand Mukti Morcha executive president and former chief minister Hemant Soren told Kumar Anshuman in a telephonic interview that the tide has turned against the BJP and the JMM-Congress alliance will form the government in the state after the ongoing assembly elections. Soren, who filed his nomination from Barhet assembly seat on Monday, said although the JMM and Congress have differences over rebel BJP leader Saryu Roy and have brought out separate manifestos, the two parties will adhere to a common minimum programme when it comes to government formation. Excerpts:

What is the feedback that you have got from the ground after the first round of voting?
We are doing very well. In fact, you can ask BJP if they can name four seats which they are sure of winning in the first phase. On our part, we are confident and stronger on every seat. Wait for the results.

Would dilution of Article 370 and Ayodhya issue have an impact on Jharkhand polls? How important are national issues in this election?
BJP leaders are talking about Kashmir in Jharkhand. My question is: If you talk about Kashmir in Jharkhand, where would we talk about the unemployment, lower industrial growth and corruption in Jharkhand. People have given their mandate on national issues in Lok Sabha elections. Now, this is about Jharkhand, and 370 or Ayodhya is not an issue here.

What are the issues in the state?
The issue is rampant corruption in five years of BJP government. Right from Lokpal to development commissioner to other senior government officials, they all have flagged corruption and scam in the current government. The issue is slowdown in industrial areas which has resulted in major job losses. The issue is how this government is trying to grab the lands of tribals in the state.

Your party has a limitation in that it has influence in only certain parts of the state and the BJP has made inroads into the tribal segment as well...
We are going to surprise you with our performance this time, be it urban or rural region. We are getting support from all corners of the state. BJP is plotting with independent candidates in each constituency to divide votes. But voters this time are determined to topple the BJP government.

Despite being in alliance, the Congress and JMM came up with separate manifestos...
Every party has a right to bring out its manifesto. But when it comes to government formation, we will work out a common minimum programme.

Your party has extended support to rebel BJP leader Saryu Roy while Congress has put up a candidate against him…
In the alliance the seat has gone to the Congress and I can’t force them to leave the seat. My support to Roy is on moral grounds. He is not fighting against the CM but against corruption. At the same
time I am part of the grand alliance and am campaigning for alliance candidates across the state.

Why is Babulal Marandi not part of the alliance?
The state has only 81seats and every party has its specific requirement. We tried hard to convince him. However, he has the right to decide about his party and seats he would contest.

Also Read

BJP allies deserting the 'sinking ship' in Jharkhand: Hemant Soren

Hemant Soren recognised as leader of opposition

Jharkhand Govt delaying domicile policy to recruit outsiders: Hemant Soren

Hemant Soren resigns, says JMM fought gallantly

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