Amit Shah, the union home minister, said on Saturday that Babulal Marandi, the leader of the Jharkhand BJP Legislature Party, had urged him to “change the government in Jharkhand,” but he said that a government cannot be changed like this in a democracy. This comes days after Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren claimed that the BJP was attempting to topple his administration after he became involved in a mining lease controversy.
Speaking at a public gathering in Chaibasa, Jharkhand, Shah also criticised the Soren administration for its domicile policy, which established 1932 as the deadline for establishing residency based on evidence of property records. Shah claimed that Soren had “widen[ed] the split” in the state and had “cheated” the residents of Chaibasa, where the year 1964 is considered to be the record for land settlement.
Marandi approached Shah to request a change in the coalition government formed by the JMM. Shah said, “Mujhe Babulal-ji ne kaha sarkar badal do. Babulal-ji, loktantra hai, sarkar mai nahi badal sakta. (Maine kaha) I was urged by Babulal Marandi to change the government, but I refused since this is a democracy and I cannot change a government like this. Jharkhand ki janta sarkar mein nischit parivartan karne wali hai. But the people of Jharkhand will undoubtedly overthrow this administration in the upcoming elections.)
Soren has accused the BJP of trying to overthrow his administration numerous times in recent weeks. At one point, he even transferred many MLAs to the Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh, ostensibly to protect them from the BJP’s claimed poaching attempts. The claims had been refuted by the BJP.
When Shah first arrived in the state on Saturday, he held a meeting of the state BJP’s core committee in Chaibasa. Later, he addressed the large crowd at the rally and claimed that Soren had “looted” Jharkhand and had failed to “protect tribal women from infiltrators,” who, he claimed, marry them in order to usurp their land.
Shah claimed that Soren had engaged in corruption and “gave lands of tribal people to infiltrators” while serving as the chief minister since 2019.
The kids (in Chaibasa) have been defrauded in the name of jobs and residence policies, he claimed. The whole of Chaibasa was settled in 1964. So tell me, will this domicile policy affect your ability to find employment?
He remarked, “If you (the Soren government) don’t have the capability to give jobs then resign your seat of authority,” accusing the state government of “creating the division.” We’ll arrive and guide Jharkhand toward development.
The Home Minister accused Soren of forging a wedge between “Adivasis and non-Adivasis” and “Adivasis and backwards,” handing the state’s reins over to “extortionists and middlemen.”
The people elected you to be in charge, but you’ve given the reins to extortionists and intermediaries, the man remarked. Illegal immigrants are forcingfully marrying Scheduled Tribes women and stealing their land. I’m here to tell you not to continue infiltrating because otherwise, people won’t forgive you.