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“Hindutva Can’t Bring BJP Back To Power”– Babulal Marandi

Updated: August 17, 2013 12:04 pm

The first Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Babulal Marandi talks with Shrikant Sharma, Executive Editor, our on burning issues concerning state’s and country’s politics. Excerpts:

What is your opinion on political scenario of Jharkhand?

Jharkhand is a state of Indian Union, so how can its politics be different from the politics of this country? Whatever is happening in country’s politics is happening in Jharkhand. Since it
is a small and poor state, it’s more talked about.

Who do you think is responsible for the present condition of the state?

The Congress and the BJP are equally responsible for the present condition of Jharkhand. As the first Chief Minister of Jharkhand, when I left the government in 2003, the BJP accepted all demands of the dissenters to make a government. In fact, they had negotiated a deal. Negotiation is part of politics and it is necessary too. But that was not a negotiation, but a deal, and deal is dangerous for this state. In fact, a government based on a deal is not in the interest of the state. In 2005, the Congress made Shibu Soren Chief Minister. Then the BJP formed the government, which lasted for one and half year, but in 2006 the Congress took its revenge by making Madhu Koda the Chief Minister. Madhu Koda’s government lasted for two years, after which Shibu Soren became the Chief Minister. Shibu Soren was not a member of legislative assembly. He contested election but was defeated. Shibu Soren’s government didn’t last for more than five months. His government was doomed to fall, as he was not a member of legislative assembly. There had been President’s Rule in the state for three months. Then in 2010, BJP’s Arjun Munda government came to power, which fell in this January, after running for 28 months. Again the state came under President’s Rule, which had to be ratified by the Parliament. Calculations of 2014 election made Congress to form government with JMM and RJD. Both, the BJP and the Congress are part of the political game in the state.

How long will this government last?

It is difficult to say that how long this government will last. I am not an astrologer. General elections of 2014 will determine the future of this government. The negotiation between the JMM and the Congress has already determined the age of this government.

How can you say this?

When this government was formed, it was declared that the Congress and the JMM would fight 2014 elections together. There are 14 Lok Sabha seats in the state, and the Congress will field its candidates on ten seats and on the other four JMM will field its candidates. The state assembly election is to be held in December 2014 and the result of general election 2014 will determine the alliance of these two parties. If the result is according to the Congress, then it will go on with this government, otherwise, it will not take a moment to declare President’s Rule in the state.

Were you in support or opposition of this government?

This government should not be formed. The Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) was never in support of this government. We have always demanded for elections to be held in the state, after the fall of Shibu Soren government. We met our Governor and President of India in this regard. We demanded for the elections, instead of formation of a government based on horse trading, as such government is not in the interest of the state.

What is your position in the state?

We have two MPs in Parliament and 11 MLAs in state assembly. Whenever elections are held, we will be in a better position.

Can you form government in the state after the elections?

In the coming elections, we will be in a better position. This means that we will be in a better condition to form the government.

On what basis are you saying this?

The law and order condition in the state has worsened. No governmentzhas been able to rein in the menace of extremism in the state. For the last 10 years, the Congress the BJP, Shibu Soren, all have ruled the state, but nobody could change the system. The state is afflicted with the cancer of corruption, which is rampant in the government machinery. Development issue is nowhere to be seen. Despite being a mineral-rich state, we are still considered a poor state. People are migrating from the state in search of employment.

What is your view on general elections 2014?

The condition of this country will get worsened after the general elections. No party or alliance has a clear-cut majority at this time, and even in elections 2014, nobody will get a clear majority. It’s very difficult to predict as to who will form the government.

What will be your party’s stand?

We will support any coalition, other than Congress and BJP.

What will you say about Narendra Modi?

He first spoke about the medical expenditure of Sonia Gandhi. Then he commented on Shashi Tharoor’s wife. During Uttarakhand disaster, he spoke about rescuing Gujaratis only. In another statement, he compared human casualty to an animal casualty. This blinkered vision will not get him to rule a country. He refrained from wearing a skull cap from a maulana. It shows his narrow mindset.

Will there be any impact of Narendra Modi in Jharkhand?

Be it Jharkhand or the whole country, whatever impact the BJP has, same applies with Modi. He is a leader of the BJP, so how can his impact be different from the party?

What will you say about Modi’s victory?

In Indian politics, when ‘Hindutva’ and ‘Ram Temple’ were the main issue, the BJP had governments in three states, namely Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh. In Uttar Pradesh, the Kalyan Singh government was there. He was a great orator and good administrator. He was supposed be at third number after Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani. Even the BJP promoted him like that. But governments of these states, which came in power on the issue of ‘Hindutva’, never came back to power. Those people, who think that Modi will become prime minister, playing the card of ‘Hindutva’, are living in a fool’s paradise.

But, Gujarat’s development is also cited as an example. What will you say about this?

Why Gujarat only, you have to see the examples of Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu. We can’t be indifferent to these states. There are other states too. Take example of the Vajpayee government during the NDA regime. Whether you like or not the Jawaharlal Nehru government, but you can’t ignore the development during its tenure. After Nehru, if anybody brought about development in the nation, it was the Vajpayee government. The whole nation accepts this fact. Nobody can say that there was no development during the Vajpayee’s tenure. Even then, why didn’t the BJP government came to power in 2004?

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