Reunion bells ring for Jharkhand Party factions

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By SANTOSH K. KIRO in Ranchi
  • Published 13.01.09
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Ranchi, Jan. 13: The thumping win of Gopal Krishna Patar alias Raja Peter over former chief minister Shibu Soren in the Tamar bypoll has paved way for the reunion of two factions of the Jharkhand Party (JP) — one owing allegiance to the late N.E. Horo and the other led by Anosh Ekka.

Peter’s win has rekindled hope of a merger in both camps — a move that could help rebuild the party’s glorious image in the Chhotanagpur region.

The greenhorns are taking the first step towards the likely reunion. In fact, JP (Anosh) has already sent a proposal to JP (Horo).

Ekka said that his faction wanted to put the past behind them and work towards re-establishing the party in the region.

Members of the Anosh faction recently visited the tomb of veteran JP leader N.E. Horo, who passed away in December 11 last year. They also met members of the JP (Horo) group members and invited them for the reunion.

“Peter’s win has come soon after the demise of our former leader. The reunion is on the cards,” said Prabhakar Tirkey, a JP (Anosh) leader, who has taken the initiative for the reunion.

Initially known as the United Jharkhand Party, it was founded by Justin Richard, who was later joined by Adivasi Mahasabha leader Jaipal Singh Munda. The party was christened Jharkhand Party in 1949. Soon after the formation, the party became the first political group to demand for a separate state.

In the second general election in 1957, JP won 32 seats in the Bihar Assembly and was at its peak. The party merged with the Congress in 1963 but veteran tribal leader Horo revived the same in 1973.

As the JP stood for a separate state, it had a wide base of supporters in the Chhotanagpur region. The revival of this past glory is what we are aiming at, Tirkey pointed out.

Though the Anosh group has extended support for the reunion, the Horo group appears indecisive, though the younger generation members in this faction are all for the same.

“We have received their (Anosh group) invitation for the reunion. But we are still mulling over it,” said M. Topno, secretary of JP (Horo) group. Though the leaders are not forthcoming, they are not denying the possibility of a reunion, as they want to bring back the good old days of the party.