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Parties vie for Hul mileage

- Hemant, Munda & Marandi pay tribute to tribal martyrs

Ranchi, June 30: Leaders, cutting across party lines, thronged Santhal Pargana to observe Hul Diwas, commemorating the 1855 uprising of tribals against the colonial rule and zamindars, to strike a chord with the indigenous people in view of the coming Assembly elections.

Chief minister Hemant Soren paid tribute to four tribal brothers, Sidho, Kanhu, Chand and Bhairav, at Bhognadih, a small village in Sahebganj district. Later, he took part in a development fair at Sidhu-Kanhu stadium.

Speaking at Bhognadih, the chief minister declared that the government would develop an inter-state bus terminus in Sahebganj and expedite work on the proposed bridge over the Ganga River to improve communication with neighbouring states of Bihar and Bengal.

Hemant also promised jobs for the kin of the martyrs of Hul revolt, while developing Bhognadih as a tourism spot.

The BJP, trying to make inroads in tribal dominated areas, also used the occasion to win the confidence and support of the local people.

Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment Sudarshan Bhagat and former chief minister Arjun Munda represented the BJP’s tribal lineage at Bhognadih. Senior BJP leader and former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha, on the other hand, attended events in Dumka and Jamtara districts and paid tributes to Santhal martyrs.

Speaking at an event at Bhognadih, Munda said the Hul rebellion was a unique revolt by Santhals that had paved the way for the 1857 war of Indian Independence.

“Santhal Pargana had once showed the way to the rest of the country. But unfortunately, today the area is devoid of any development and is in the grip of criminals,” Munda added.

JVM supremo and former chief minister Babulal Marandi was not behind in the race either.

While Marandi took part in a programme at Sidhu-Kanhu stadium, the party’s youth wing felicitated local talents, majority of whom were tribals, for excelling in the matriculation and intermediate examinations this year.