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Arrest me, dares Hemant Soren; plays Adivasi vs outsider card

“Have I murdered someone? What crime have I committed? If I have, then arrest me, why send a summon”, asked Soren on a day he was to appear before the ED.

Jharkhand Chief Minister and Working President of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) Hemant Soren addresses party workers outside his residence in Ranchi. (PTI)

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren Thursday attacked the BJP, without once naming the party or any of its leaders, daring it to “arrest him” rather than sending summons through ED.

The comments from Soren came on a day he was to appear before the Enforcement Directorate in connection with its probe into alleged money laundering in cases of illegal mining in the state. Instead, Soren spoke outside his official residence in the Kanke Road area of Ranchi amidst hundreds of supporters shortly after 2.30 pm. He then left for Chhattisgarh to attend a tribal programme.

Soren said he was invited for the Adivasi Nritya Mahotsav in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur well in advance as the chief guest and it was a ‘conspiracy’ that he was summoned by the central agency the same day. He said that if Adivasis ‘take it upon themselves’, then the day is not far that the Opposition will not even get a place to hide their face.

Humne kisi ki hatya ki hai? Kaun sa gunah kiya hai? Summon kyun kiya? Agar humne gunah kiya hai to seedha arrest kar ke dikhao. Summon kya bhejte ho? Badi majbooti se hamari sarkar iss rajya ke kaam mein lagi hui hai. Aaj inko ye kami khalti hai to court kacheri karein, ED, CBI ka chehra dikhayein. Agar Adivasi apne par aa gayein to inko sar chupaane ka jagah nahi milegi. (Have I murdered someone? What crime have I committed? If I have, then arrest me, why send a summon? Our government is working for the state with full strength. If Adivasis take it upon themselves then they won’t even get a place to hide their face).”

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Alleging that a ‘bahri (outsider) gang’ is operating in Jharkhand which doesn’t want the ‘Adivasis and Mulvasis’ to succeed, Soren said he is giving everyone “a befitting reply”. The usage of the word ‘gang’ is an ostensible attack on a few BJP leaders who use the term ‘grooming gang’ for a community in the Santhal Pargana area, which they allege is being appeased by the JMM-led government in the state.

CM Soren said: “Is rajya mein kuch bahari gang sakriya ho chuka hai jo is rajya ke Adivasi, mulvasi ko aage nahi badhne dena chahta hai. Humne unki pehchan kar li hai. Ek-ek ko jawab de rahe hain. Jaanch ke naam par, inquiry ke naam par ye sarkari karyapranali mein ye sandesh dena chahte hain ki ye sarkar (Soren’s government) banne ke baad inhi ka roj sarkar ban rahi hai… Char upchunav huyen hain aur yeh audhe muh ki khane wale hain (There is an outsider gang active in the state that doesn’t want the Adivasis to succeed. I have identified them all and we are giving a befitting reply to them. In name of inquiries, they want to give a message to the people in the government that they (the BJP) will form the government…There have been four by-elections, and they have lost in all four).”

He added they will get a reply from the people of the state in the coming Lok Sabha election as well. He emphasised the BJP is ‘in panic mode’ due to his flagship programme ‘Sarkar Aapke Dwar’ which has benefited many people. He also again attacked Governor Ramesh Bais for not disclosing what was in the envelope he claimed to have. It is a reference to a recommendation by the Election Commission on the action to be taken against Soren over his alleged ownership of a mining lease.

First published on: 03-11-2022 at 15:29 IST
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