Dayamani Barla, award-winning tribal activist and journalist, is likely to contest Lok Sabha election on an Aam Admi Party (AAP) ticket, party leaders said on Saturday. She is likely to contest the elections from Khunti.
Between 2000 and 2003, Ms. Barla had led tribal villagers in protesting against displacement from Koel Karo dam in Khunti and later, led a successful movement against setting up of Arcelor Mittal's plant over 11,000 acres farmland in Khunti and Gumla.
Dayamani Barla had met AAP leaders in Delhi earlier in February. Party leaders said the central leadership of the party in Delhi is likely to make her candidature public soon. On Saturday, she was in Bokaro to participate in the party's election campaign meeting.
“We discussed issues of corruption, criminalization and hereditary succession in politics, as well as issues related to people's access to natural resources, displacement, the poor implementation of special tenancy acts such as Chotanagpur Tenancy Act as well as PESA,” said Ms. Barla. The party has announced a “jharoo yatra” in the state to raise awareness on corruption in the state.
Between October and December 2012, Ms. Barla was in jail in Ranchi after the Jharkhand government accused her in a 2006-case and issued a property warrant against her for leading a demonstration demanding MGNREGS job cards for villagers in the Angada in Ranchi, and for leading a farmers’ protest in Nagri village in August 2012.
In 2013, she was awarded the Ellen L. Lutz Indigenous Rights Award for protecting the rights of tribals by Cultural Survival, an international NGO. Born in a farmer’s family in Arhara village in Khunti, Dayamani Barla worked as a domestic help in Ranchi in her childhood to support her school education. She founded the Jan Hak Patrika, and for some years reported on rural issues for Prabhat Khabar, a Hindi daily. She now runs a tea-shop in Ranchi to support her public work.
Besides Ms. Barla, Kumar Chand Madhi an anti-displacement activist may be nominated by AAP from Jamshedpur in E. Singhbhum and Mithilesh Dangi, an activist who is leading a farmers' movement against land acquisition by National Thermal Power Corporation may contest on a AAP ticket for Hazaribagh.