ED to visit Bihar with the change of guard: Bhupesh Baghel
In a veiled attack on the BJP, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel has said that Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand got a reprieve as the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI will now also start visiting Bihar too.
“In the recent months the ED (Enforcement Directorate), the CBI and other investigating agencies used to come to Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand all the time. Hemant bhai, now all these agencies coming to Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh will start going to Bihar too.
“The load will be divided and ease the pressure on us a bit,” Baghel said, while addressing the closing ceremony of the two-day Jharkhand Janjatiya Mahotsava on Wednesday in Ranchi.
The Congress leader’s statement came a day after Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar dumped the BJP and joined hands with the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) to form a new government in Bihar.
Incidentally, the ED has recently arrested Hemant’s political representative in home constituency (Barhait) Pankaj Mishra and had questioned Jharkhand chief minister’s media advisor Abhishek Prasad over money-laundering allegations.
Similarly, ED raids are also ongoing in Chhattisgarh over gold smuggling allegations.
Baghel also claimed that attempts to topple the Jharkhand government by engineering split in the Congress boomerang and resulted in the loss of its own government in Bihar.
“There have been attempts to topple an elected government in Jharkhand and in cricket parlance they (read BJP) bowled a bouncer but Jharkhand played a hook shot and they lost their government in Bihar,” he said.
Significantly, Calcutta police arrested three Congress MLAs earlier this month in Bengal with cash allegedly given to form a separate entity with other MLAs and lend support to the BJP to form a government in Jharkhand.
Baghel like his Jharkhand counterparts on Wednesday stressed upon tribals to be politically conscious and fight for their rights.
“The rights given under the Forest Rights Act are being stopped (a reference to Centre’s attempt to change Forest Conservation Act). The power of Gram Sabha is being restricted. For the development of forest dwellers, schools, roads, Anganwadi centres and ponds are needed but they are not being set up. The time has come for tribals from all states to be aware of their rights and fight for it unitedly for our identity and rights.
“He and Hemant Sorenji raised these issues for the tribal rights during the Niti Aayog meeting chaired by the Prime Minister (on Sunday),” said Baghel.
Expressing dismay at the Centre’s neglect of tribal dominated states, Baghel said, “States like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh where a large number of tribals live are oxygen chambers of the country, as people protect their forests and this was proved during Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is these states, which also provide energy to the country through their coal reserves. If Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh stop providing coal the energy sector in the country would come to a standstill. But we are neglected by the Centre when we seek its support.”
Jharkhand chief minister Hemant announced that the Janjatiya Mahotsava would be held on August 9 every year in a more grand manner so that tribal artisans get a global stage.
Hemant also said that it was a good omen that the start of the tribal festival has also led to rains lashing the state which had over 50 per cent deficit monsoon a few days back.