Differences within the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in Jharkhand came to the fore on November 5 when its partners Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and the Congress took to the streets in Ranchi against the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) summons to Chief Minister Hemant Soren but Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) stayed away.
RJD, which has only one member in the State Assembly, said it had not received any official communication on the protest.
“We have not been communicated anything about the protest by our alliance partners. JMM takes its own decisions and executes them with the Congress. Nothing is discussed with us. So, we decided to stay away from the protest,” RJD State president Sanjay Singh Yadav told PTI.
The ED had summoned Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren for questioning on November 3 in a money-laundering case linked to alleged illegal mining in the State. Mr. Soren, however, skipped summons and went to Chhattisgarh on Thursday to attend a pre-scheduled programme and is stated to have sought three weeks' time to appear before the Central probe agency.
Hundreds of JMM workers marched to Raj Bhawan on Saturday and raised slogans against the BJP and ED. They staged a dharna, which was participated by several senior Congress leaders.
JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya said, “The protest is being carried out in all district headquarters against the Opposition’s agenda to destabilise the government.” The party, he said, will apprise the president how a tribal who is running the government is being harassed through a well-planned conspiracy.
Senior JMM leader and Rajya Sabha MP Mahua Manjhi said, “The Central agencies should be transparent and unbiased. They should not target only the non-BJP governments in the States.”
“It is evident that the BJP is misusing the constitutional institutions. Before the UPA government there was the BJP government led by Raghubar Das in Jharkhand and many big scams and corruptions took place during his regime. But the Central agencies remained silent. They are working under its pressure,” Jharkhand Congress working president Bandhu Tirkey said.
JMM workers took out protest rallies in Dumka, Giridih and Bokaro. In Giridih the agitation was led by MLAs Sudivya Kumar and Sarfaraj Ahmed.
Mr. Kumar later said, “Today’s protest is just the beginning. A long battle will be fought against BJP’s evil agenda.”