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regular-article-logo Saturday, 13 April 2024

BJP government only looted mineral, forest resources: Jharkhand CM Champai Soren

They want to usurp power in the state and are misusing federal agencies like ED to arrest the popular former chief minister Hemant Soren on baseless charges, Soren said

Animesh Bisoee Jamshedpur Published 22.02.24, 06:51 AM
Champai Soren addresses a function at Ranchi on Wednesday.

Champai Soren addresses a function at Ranchi on Wednesday. Picture by Manob Chowdhury

Jharkhand chief minister Champai Soren on Wednesday accused the BJP-led Centre of only being interested in the mineral and forest resources of the state rather than the development of its people.

Addressing a function to mark rolling out of the government’s ambitious ‘Mukhya Mantri Gram Gadi Yojana, a rural transport scheme facilitating bus service in remote areas at Ranchi, Champai Soren alleged: “The BJP government which ruled the state for the maximum period at the behest of the Centre was only interested in looting the mineral and forest resources and attempted to tinker with the old SPT (Santhal Pargana Tenancy) Act and CNT (Chotanagpur Tenancy Act) and lost the Assembly polls (in December 2019.”

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“They want to usurp power in the state and are misusing federal agencies like ED to arrest the popular former chief minister Hemant Soren on baseless charges. However, we would not cower but would continue with more vigour for the people of the state and spread lights of development in each house. What we have done in a few years, BJP cannot match it even in 25 years,” claimed Soren.

Incidentally, Hemant Soren was arrested by the ED on January 31 on alleged money laundering charges on a land scam and is at present in judicial custody at Ranchi.

Significantly, during the erstwhile Raghubar Das-led BJP government there had been a massive protest by tribals and moolvasis against government attempts to tinker with land tenancy laws (the laws restrict the sale of tribal land to non-tribals Santhal Pargana and Chotanagpur region) between 2016 and 2018.

“There are villages in remote areas, forests and riversides where there is no road or transport facility. Villagers have to walk 30km to 40km to reach the district headquarters. Now, rural people do not have to suffer. The Gram Gadi yojana will facilitate rural people including students, farmers and patients in Jharkhand,” Soren said.

The primary objective of the scheme is to establish connectivity between blocks, subdivisions, and district headquarters to ensure that rural villagers have access to a convenient transportation system.

The chief minister said around 15,000km roads are being constructed in rural areas. Senior citizens, school and college students, physically challenged, HIV positive, widows and Jharkhand movement activists (who took part in agitation for a separate state of Jharkhand) will get the facility of free travel in buses, he said.

Hemant Soren approved the scheme in October 2022. However, private operators did not show any interest in the project terming it “non-viable”.

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