JMM, BJP workers clashed and some of them suffered minor injuries along with police personnel after JMM showed black flags to Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar in Ranchi on Saturday morning.
The JMM’s action was in retaliation to the booing of chief minister Hemant Soren on Thursday in the presence of prime minister Narendra Modi at an event in Ranchi. The party had later demanded an apology from the PM and had warned that it would boycott all Union ministers otherwise. The JMM has also declared a Ranchi bandh on Sunday, saying it would hold protests across the state tomorrow.
Thursday’s incident and its fallout have pushed the two parties further away from each other, effectively delivering the JMM into the Congress’s hands for a pre-poll alliance. The humiliation of CM Soren could even rule out any post-poll alliances of his party with the BJP.
Tomar, who handles the Labour and Employment, Mines and Steel portfolios, was in Ranchi en route Jamshedpur when JMM activists stopped his vehicle near the airport and displayed black flags. At that point, BJP supporters who were accompanying the minister’s convoy began an altercation with them. A total of 10 FIRs, detailing allegations and counter-allegations, have been registered at the Doranda police station.
The JMM had written to the PM’s office on Wednesday, saying that there should not be a repeat of the incidents in Maharashtra and Haryana, where chief ministers were booed by the audience in the presence of the PM over the previous week. “It has become an issue now…. let’s see where this goes,” said Soren on Saturday in response to the clash.
“There was nothing for the chief minister to get so angry about…. There was no reason to protest against me,” said minister Tomar in Jamshedpur. He was to arrive in Ranchi on Friday night but rescheduled after JMM workers carrying black flags gathered at the airport.