Soren skipping summons as he has something to hide; challenge govt to raid my premises, have no fear: Marandi - Hindustan Times
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Soren skipping summons as he has something to hide; challenge govt to raid my premises, have no fear: Marandi

By, Ranchi
Dec 12, 2023 09:42 PM IST

Hitting back at the non-BJP parties of accusing the Narendra Modi government of misusing the central agencies, Jharkhand BJP chief Babulal Marandi said on Tuesday that only those who have something to hide are afraid of facing the agencies

Hitting back at the non-BJP parties of accusing the Narendra Modi government of misusing the central agencies, Jharkhand BJP chief Babulal Marandi said on Tuesday that only those who have something to hide are afraid of facing the agencies. Marandi, who holds the distinction of being the first CM of the state, challenged the Soren government to send their agencies to raid his premises and question him as he had committed no wrong.

Babulal Marandi (HT)
Babulal Marandi (HT)

In his first interview after taking over as the party’ state unit chief five months back, Marandi spoke to Vishal Kant about a host of issues, including the party’s plan for the upcoming elections, assembly session and delay in formation of his state executive. Excerpts.

# You had served as state president of the party in the 1990s, became the first chief minister of the state, but the party has once again reposed faith in you and has put you in the driver’s seat. What is your target as far as the organisational goal is concerned?

Ans: The target is very crystal clear and two pronged. First, the Lok Sabha elections. Currently, we have 12 seats in our kitty. We are targeting to win all 14 Lok Sabha seats from the state. Second, the state was created by the BJP and all BJP-led governments have done lot of development work here. However, we have never been able to get the simple majority on our own in the assembly. My target is to ensure that we (BJP alone) get 41 plus seats in the assembly elections next year.

# Is it going to be easy? Because in the last election BJP lost power largely because of bad performance in the 28 seats reserved for the scheduled tribes. Now you have been made the state president. In neighbouring Chhattisgarh, a tribal has been named the next chief minister. Do you think all this would cut the ice with the tribal voters in the state?

Ans: It is a fact that the opposition parties created a wrong impression of the BJP amongst the tribal community. However, people have now realised that they were hoodwinked by the opposition. The performance of the BJP in the tribal seats in the assembly elections in the three states is a testimony to it. The BJP won because the community knows that the BJP honours them besides ensuring their development. Besides taking care of their needs including providing free ration, housing, toilet, gas cylinder among others, the community has been honoured on several platforms. Observing birthday of Birsa Munda as Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas, eight tribals finding place in the Modi cabinet and Droupadi Murmu being made president of the country are few examples of it.

# The winter session is set to begin this week. What would be the strategy of the party to corner the government in the assembly.

Ans: We will decide on it in the legislature party meeting. However, it is likely to be similar about the issues we have been raising on the street.

# In the current assembly, this is the first session where we would see a designated leader of opposition in Amar Bauri. Do you think it would help in taking on the treasury bench better?

Ans: I don’t agree to it. They did not give me the LoP status but other MLAs were there raising the issues of people. In fact, while I thank my central leadership for giving me the new responsibility in the organisation, I would also thank Hemant Soren partially for helping me in becoming the state president. Had he given me the LoP status, I might not have been made the party president.

# You are thanking Soren, but you have been seeking action against Hemant Soren? He has again decided not to appear before the ED and skipped the sixth summon?

Ans: The fact that he is skipping summons and running from one court to another shows he has lots to hide. He knows the agency has documents to act against him, hence he is running away. I urge the ED to now take action as per law because this is creating a wrong precedence that a person holding a constitutional post is showing scant respect for rule of law.

# But the JMM says Soren is acting as per law and he moved court earlier as he has the right to do so?

Ans: But even the court did not extend his any relief, neither in high court nor in supreme court.

# The JMM-Congress is also accusing the Centre of misusing the agencies?

Ans: Aren’t the agencies unearthing huge amount of black money from the possession of their leaders. The recent seizure of cash (in IT raids against Congress MP Dheeraj Sahu) is unprecedented. And the top of it, only those who have to hide something are afraid of appearing before any agency. And people can see through all this. Even the state governments have their own agency. They know about all locations related to me. Let them come and raid my premises and question me. I am not afraid.

# Are you challenging the state government to act against you?

Ans: Yes, they are most welcome because I have nothing to hide.

# The ACB has initiated inquiry against five former ministers of the BJP including the newly appointed LoP?

Ans: Yes, I saw something in newspapers about (LoP) Amar Bauri. I asked him. He clearly said he has nothing to hide and is open to any probe.

# It’s been five months since you took over as state president. You are still to announce your team?

Ans: That is not a major issue. All organisational work is being done. It will be done as per requirement as and when required.

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