Hemant Soren: the rising son in the East who dethroned BJP

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 23, 2019 Published on December 23, 2019

As the results of the Jharkhand elections gave a definite edge for the alliance led by his party Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), its leader and the Chief Ministerial face Hemant Soren said the day is to make a pledge for him to fulfil the expectations of the people.

After a brief tenure of one and a half years in 2013-14 and an unexpected defeat that followed, Soren has been trying to galvanise his forces. He was in constant touch with Opposition parties at the national stage. JMM left no chances to be present at the meetings of Opposition parties against the Narendra Modi Government.

Land rights activist

In Jharkhand, too, Soren always stood firmly on the ground. He found a chance to revive his politics as the State government decided to amend the Chhota Nagpur Tenancy Act and the Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act that govern land issues of tribal people in the State. He campaigned against the amendments not just in the State, but also spoke about it at all-India platforms as well. He said the amendments were aimed at pleasing the corporates and “promoting” land grabs.

Recently in Delhi, Soren told reporters that both the Acts are the main issues before the electorate. He said his party will anchor the campaign on land issues. “If everywhere nationalism will be talked about, then where will the problems of the State be taken up?” Soren asked.

He said the BJP has no issues to raise. “This is because, for five years they have just caused destruction in States ruled by them and they will have to answer in Jharkhand. They have no answer, so they are playing politics with sentiments and raising emotive issues,” Soren had said in Delhi. He also talked about unemployment, price rise, issues of farmers in during the campaigns. “Development was never an issue for the BJP. If you talk of development, they close down the agencies coming out with government data,” he said.

Socialism is the word

The JMM has been upholding “socialism” as its ideology. Talking to reporters at his residence in Ranchi on Monday, Soren said: “This is the day to make a pledge to fulfil the expectations of the people of the State. This is a new chapter for this State. It will be a milestone in the history of Jharkhand. I promise that we will not break the trust people have reposed on us. I will work for all sections of people,” he said.

These campaigns, based on land and other livelihood issues, helped Soren to consolidate not just the tribal votes, but also helped to reach out to the middle class and urban industrial clusters voters as well. The State has about 26 per cent tribal inhabitation. The JMM’s efforts to regain the confidence among tribal people succeeded despite the threats posed by AJSU and JVM(P). The JVM(P) also fielded candidates who were actively campaigning against the amendments to tenancy laws.

Of the 43 seats contested, JMM was leading 30 seats at the time of filing this report. This is one of the best results of the party that was formed in 1973. Former Chief Minister and Hemant’s father Shibu Soren is one of the founders of the party. Hemant Soren contested two seats. In Dumka, he was leading by more than 13,000 votes, while in Barhait the margin will be more than 25,000 votes.

Published on December 23, 2019
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