Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha asked the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to fight the upcoming Assembly election in the state on issues of people and refrain from Hindu nationalism and jingoism.
For the past few months, Mahasabha has been raising many socio-economic issues in Jharkhand in recent times, ranging from gaping holes in welfare schemes to deaths due to hunger to mob lynchings, to amendments, to the formation of land banks and several other issues.
JJM organised a press conference in state capital and slammed the state government for not using the mandate for the betterment of state and only tried to implement the Hindutva agenda as well as helping crony capitalism to flourish in Jharkhand.
The organisation has also put its demands before BJP and opposition before the forthcoming assembly polls in Jharkhand.
Mahasabha released a detailed press statement highlighting major issues Jharkhand is reeling under. “Jharkhand’s current government, headed by Raghubar Das led BJP is the first government of the state to last a full term. This was an opportunity to put the state on a new track and bring about equitable development; instead, five years of BJP rule have perpetuated the regime of corruption and anti-people development embraced by successive governments in Jharkhand since 2000. Betraying the people’s mandate, the BJP used its political stability to bulldoze Hindutva ideology and pro-corporate policies.”
“But these amendments enabled the government to acquire land for Adani’s power plant in Godda without the consent of Adivasi landowners,” the statement read.
“Soon after assuming office, BJP government tried to amend the Chota Nagpur Tenancy and Santhal Paragana Tenancy Acts that provide protection to people’s land. It was aimed to enable the sale of agricultural land for commercial purpose and ease land acquisition for infrastructure projects. The government was forced to abort these efforts in the face of massive protests across the state.”
“But these amendments enabled the government to acquire land for Adani’s power plant in Godda without the consent of Adivasi landowners.”
The statement further reads, “The BJP government’s policy of earmarking common lands (such as rivers/rivulets, village roads, ponds, places of worship and burial grounds) is also an attempt to provide land to the corporates without the consent of Gram Sabhas. It is not surprising that despite majority, neither did the government notify rules for PESA nor did it implement the provisions of fifth schedule in letter and spirit.”
The statement also prominently highlighted how the decision of the Raghubar Das government to link Aadhaar with various social welfare schemes eventually lead to a number of starvation deaths in Jharkhand.
“The last five years also saw several attacks on people’s welfare rights. Lakhs of ration cards, NREGA job cards and social security pensions were cancelled, as they were not linked with Aadhaar. Linkage of Aadhaar-based biometric authentication with the Public Distribution System (PDS) created havoc for the cardholders. Lakhs of eligible families are outside the ambit of the PDS, as the government is yet to update the ration card lists (based on 2011 socio-economic caste census). About half of the state’s elderly, single women and persons with disabilities are not covered under the social security pension schemes. NREGA is in shambles because of unavailability of adequate work and chronic delays in wage payments. The real value of NREGA wage rate has remained stagnant over the past several years. Also, participation of Adivasi and Dalit households in NREGA has fallen from 50% to 36% in the last five years. The outcome of these failures is the starvation death of at least 22 people under Raghubar Das’s watch.”
“The BJP’s ideology of hate, religious polarization and authoritarianism was clearly exposed by its unilateral abolition of Article 370 and handling of the issue of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam. On the pretext of the NRC, the government persistently indicates that Muslims will be thrown out by declaring them as illegal migrants from Bangladesh. The BJP-led central government, without the consent of Kashmiris, read down Article 370 to convert the state in two union territories. Article 35A. which protected land of Kashmiris, was repealed to provide corporates easy access to their land. Further, on the pretext of preempting social unrest, the government has kept Kashmir under lockdown for the past three months. In Jharkhand, the BJP, unable to run away from its failures, is raking up NRC and 370 talks in its attempt to polarize the voters.”