In less than a month, the domicile issue would once again be in focus with the opposition joining hands to give a call for a two-day economic blockade in Jharkhand on June 11 and 12.
The call was given by Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) and will be actively supported by main opposition party Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. On May 14, the JMM had given a bandh call on the issue, during which around 10,000 people were detained amid sporadic incidents of violence.
The state government has geared up to deal with the situation, with the Chief Secretary issuing a slew of instructions to maintain law and order in the state. Last time, the state police had patted itself on the back and also honoured some officers, who, among other things, had done a good job in ensuring peace in their areas.
The call for two-day economic blockade, entailing stoppage of movements of goods – raw or finished – out of Jharkhand, was given by the JVM and its planning had been initiated when Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar attended JVM’s open general meeting in Ranchi on May 23.
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JMM general secretary and spokesperson Vinod Pandey said: “JVM (P) leader Babulal Marandi wrote to us on Wednesday seeking our support in making the bandh call successful. We had already given moral support to it. We held a meeting and have now decided to participate actively in the same, as our views on the issue are similar.
The present domicile policy of the government is against the interests of the tribal and original residents of the state. Our bandh call was hugely successful in May. There is anger among the public on this issue.”
Last time, the JVM (P) had given ‘moral support’ to the JMM’s bandh call. JVM (P) said that it had sought support from all quarters, including even BJP and welcomed any type of support coming in from anyone across party lines.
“It is not that we needed their (JMM) support to make the blockade successful. But, since it is an issue that impacts the common man directly, we sought support from all quarters. Some of the changes being made in the laws will require consent from the Centre. Therefore, we also wrote to the BJP,” said party spokesperson Saroj Singh.
A joint delegation of JMM, JVM and other opposition parties also met Governor Draupadi Murmu to present their memorandum on the issue of domicile policy. The domicile policy was defined for the first time in 16 years of the state’s existence by the Raghubar Das government on April 7.
It may be mentioned that all the opposition parties have come together to defeat the second BJP candidate, Mahesh Poddar, in the Rajya Sabha polls scheduled to take place on June 11.
Meanwhile, the state police have been asked to remain on alert on the situation. Among other instructions, the top officials have asked the police to be present in mobile vans in large numbers so that, in case of need, their movement can be fast and intervention timely.
Video-recording and special vigil on the highways and railway tracks would be maintained. During the two-day economic blockade, however, private vehicles and movement of common people would not be impeded.