By Gladson Dungdung
Mynews 15 January, 2009
The Guruji is an extraordinary person whose commitment, passion and hard work had paved the way in materialization of Jharkhand state therefore every one is eager to know the reasons of his defeat.
The Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Guruji Shibu Soren has lost by-election to the Tamar assembly seat to the Jharkhand Party candidate Gopal Krishna Patar known as Raja Peter by a margin of 9000 votes, which has created political instability in the state. According to the media analysis, the main reasons for Guruji’s defeat are – anarchy, corruption and government’s unpopularity. But one is unable to digest the analysis precisely because in that case, one of the UPA alliance partner the Jharkhand Party’s candidate would have also lost the election as most of the time the media exposed Enos Ekka, the president of the Jharkhand Party as the most corrupt minister and he was sacked from the government just before the election. On the other hand, the NDA candidate Vasundhara Munda would have win the election but its candidature was seized though the sympathy vote was in her favour.
The Guruji is an extraordinary person whose commitment, passion and hard work had paved the way in materialization of Jharkhand state therefore every one is eager to know the reasons of his defeat. After a deep analysis one would surly say that the political conspiracy is the main reason for his defeat. The key players of the UPA– the Congress and the RJD are against of the JMM’s rule over the state for the longer period, which might help the party to regain the lost ground and become more powerful party in the state. The rising of the JMM means rejection of the Congress and the RJD. Therefore both the parties wanted Guruji’s defeat so they suggested him to contest the election from the Tamar constituency.
Interestingly, Guruji failed to smell the political conspiracy and accepted to fight election under the assurance of the Congress and the RJD though the JMM has no prevalence in the constituency. Accordingly, none of the senior leaders of the Congress and the RJD visited to the areas and those leaders who visited to the constituency at the last moment addressed the public meetings near by town instead of visit to the villages. These parties also did not play active role in convincing the ally partner Jharkhand Party to withdraw nomination of its candidate Raja Peter. Tamar constituency is historically known for the Congress domination but it played a passive role during the bye-election, which ensured Guruji’s defeat.
Second obvious reason is the state wide mass people’s resistance against displacement and police firing in Kathikund of Dumka district, which took place on December 6, where anti-displacement activist Lakhiram Tuddu lost his life and 7 were severely injured, and 2 of them are still battling for life but the MoU of CESC Ltd was not cancelled and Guruji Sibu Soren was mum for such a long time on one hand and the JMM openly supported industrialization in the state on the other. The police firing in the reign of Guruji was unexpected and when Medha Pateker visited to the Jharkhand, the media widely covered the issue of police firing and the messages of displacement movement and police firing were widely spread in the villages through various sources, which cost Guruji in the Tamar election.
The third reason is acceptance of the leaders on the basis of ethnicity, region and availability. The Tamar Constituency is highly dominated by the Munda Adivasis and Mahto community. Obviously, the Munda Adivasis refused to accept an outsider and Santhal as their leader because being an outsider; Soren would not be available when the people require him and his Santhal ethnicity was a matter of social bonding. On the other side, Raja Peter comes from Munda ethnic group of the same constituency and he is much closed to the people’s hearts. Besides, Guruji’s few decisions and proclamations were enough for questioning his commitment and credibility as he had snatch the CM post from Madhu Koda, proclaimed the Naxalites as his brothers and sisters and declared Dikkus (outsiders) as Jharkhandi were more than enough to add fuel in the fire.
Though the NDA is happy with the Guruji’s defeat but the mandate is for the NDA to introspect. Because the BJP and the JD (U) had jointly fought the election but they came into the fourth position with merely 9997 votes though the seat was captured in last two elections by the JD (U) MLA Ramesh Singh Munda, who was gunned down on July 9 last year by suspected Maoists and the seat was vacant. But instead of raising the strong issue like Naxalism, development and livelihoods of the people, the NDA attempted to bag the sympathy votes. It is also because Suman Mahto the wife of MP Sunil Mahto had won Lok Sabha by- election as Mahto was also assassinated by the Maoists. Ironically, the NDA executive convener Sarad Yadav’s visit also did not make any difference. The people rejected the NDA because the BJP and JD (U) are pro-supporters of the national and multinational companies, which directly means the displacement of the local masses.
The Tamar election has given a new lesson to all the political parties who support the national and the multinational companies in the name of development, and alienate people from their livelihood resources, it would cost them in the next election especially in the Adivasi and Mahto dominated areas as these are the two communities mostly fighting against displacement in the state. One must not be surprised if the BJP, the Congress, the RJD, the JMM and the JVM who are pro supporters of the industrialization lose the ground and the small parties like Jharkhand party, Jharkhand Dishum Party, Jharkhand Janadhikar Party, Adivasi Chhatra Sangh and left party like CPI (ML) emerge as new political forces in the state in the forth coming elections as these parties are against of displacement and land alienation. They raise voices for people’s ownership and control over the natural resources and advocate for the community based development. Obviously, the mandate of Tamar election has given a new direction for the future of Jharkhand.
Gladson Dungdung is a Human Rights Activist and Writer based at Ranchi. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org