The Telegraph
Wednesday , January 8 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Sorens to celebrate Sohrai

- JMM eyes brownie points, administration readies ground

Dumka, Jan. 7: Chief minister Hemant Soren and his father and JMM patriarch Shibu Soren will celebrate Sohrai, one of the important festivals of Santhals, in Dumka tomorrow, to connect with the tribal community ahead of the general elections.

Also, the father-son duo will perform some of the rituals of Sohrai at local Jaher than and Manjhi than, before heading for the main event at Gandhi Maidan where big pandals have been erected to host a hug gathering.

The district administration, which is organising such an event for the first time, is leaving no stone unturned to make the programme a big success. The administration has distributed thousands of invitation cards to ensure maximum participation by tribals as well as other communities.

The event, nonetheless, is largely being viewed as a political move with the sole aim of alluring the tribal electorate, while the administration is drawing flak from the Opposition for being a puppet in the hands of the ruling party.

“How can the district administration can organise Sohrai which is a tribal festival?” wondered one Ajay Hembrom, a local resident.

The deputy commissioner could not be contacted for his comments.

Source said the JMM chief had always been reluctant to participate in such events, despite winning elections banking on tribal vote bank. But this time, he is shrugging off his “inhibition” to win over the tribals.

Today, Hemant, who arrived here yesterday on a three-day visit, addressed JMM workers at Khijuria.

“JMM has always banked on Miyans, (Muslims), Manjhis (Santhals) and Mahtos (Koiri-Kurmi). We are looking forward to their support this time too,” he said while addressing the workers.