Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Monday did not rejected the idea of a post-poll alliance with the BJP, despite vociferously taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his campaign.
“You are asking a political question…. We are trying for a majority of our own. The BJP claims it will form a stable government, but in an alliance with three other parties. As for the rest, we will see what happens after the elections,” Hemant said during an interview with The Indian Express at the CM’s official residence.
The JMM leader has been the most vocal opponent of Modi in this election season, matching the BJP leader when it comes to verbal barbs. Modi during his election rallies in the state kept referring Hemant and his father Shibu Soren as “baap-beta”, while the Chief Minister responded to his statements, saying he was helpless if the PM does not have a son.
On reports that Tata Steel was buying iron ore for the first time for its Jamshedpur plant partly because his government did not renew licenses, Hemant compared the firm to someone travelling ticketless in a train. “It is a lot of fun to travel without tickets, but that is only till the TT catches you…. What was happening for the last 20- 25 years? They were not renewing their licences. Shouldn’t the state get what is ours?” he asked.
When asked whether the JMM’s last alliance with the BJP was something he regrets, the CM said it was borne out of certain compulsions. “We did not want President’s rule in Jharkhand; it is supposed to be a temporary instrument and can never be good for the state. The Congress was not willing to help us prevent it, so we had to take the BJP’s help.”
About his apprehensions that the BJP government would amend various land-related acts, Hemant said the Union government would surely attempt it. “Our tenancy acts mean it would be impossible for them to give land to industries the way they want. They will try to change all these acts,” he said.