‘Centre's hatred towards tribals, Dalits’: Hemant Soren on his ED arrest | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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‘Centre's hatred towards tribals, Dalits’: Hemant Soren on his ED arrest

Feb 05, 2024 06:32 PM IST

Speaking on the floor of the Jharkhand assembly, Hemant Soren said that his arrest serves as an “illustration of the oppression faced by tribals and Dalits.”

Former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren alleged on Sunday that the central government harbours “hatred towards adivasis and dalits”, citing his arrest by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED).

Fomer Jharkhand chief minister and JMM leader Hemant Soren speaks during a special session of the Jharkhand assembly convened by the Champai Soren government to seek trust vote, in Ranchi, Monday, (via PTI)
Fomer Jharkhand chief minister and JMM leader Hemant Soren speaks during a special session of the Jharkhand assembly convened by the Champai Soren government to seek trust vote, in Ranchi, Monday, (via PTI)

Speaking on the floor of the Jharkhand assembly, where he participated in the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)-led coalition government's vote of confidence, he said that his arrest serves as an illustration of the oppression faced by tribals and Dalits in society in various ways.

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“I do not understand why the ruling (central) government has so much hatred towards adivasis and dalits...They don't hesitate to say that we should remain in jungles. If we come out of jungle their graves will get dirty. They think that we are untouchables,” he said.

“If you look back at the oppression faced by adivasis, backward, Dalits and minorities, it has been brought forward in multiple ways in different forms. January 31 is an example of this oppression,” he added.

Referring to the day of his arrest as ‘black chapter’ in the Indian history, he said, “January 31 was a black chapter in India's history. A chief minister was arrested at the behest of the Raj Bhavan… The BJP doesn't want a tribal CM to complete 5 years in Jharkhand; they did not allow this even in their regimes.”

Except non-tribal BJP leader Raghubar Das, none of the remaining 10 former chief ministers managed to serve a complete five-year term in the state, carved out of Bihar in 2000.

"I challenge BJP to prove corruption charges against me. If proved, I will quit politics," Soren said.

"However, I will not shed tears now. I will give a befitting reply to the feudal forces at an appropriate time," the JMM leader said.

Claiming that tribals would be forced to shun their religion as BR Ambedkar was compelled to convert to Buddhism, he alleged that the BJP considers tribals "untouchable".

"Tribals and Dalits are not safe under the present regime in the country… I will come back with more strength. Opposition's conspiracy will be thwarted," Soren said.

Champai Soren-led new JMM-Congress government won the floor test in the House. With 47 MLAs supporting the confidence motion, 29 legislators opposed it in the 81-member assembly. Independent legislator Saryu Roy chose to abstain.

Hemant Soren, currently in ED custody, participated in the trust vote after receiving approval from a specialised PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) court.

Hemant hai to himmat hai: Champai Soren

Jharkhand Chief Minister Champai Soren, initiating the discussion on the trust motion, expressed his concerns about the “misuse of central agencies by the ruling government.”

"The one who is ruling the Central government misused agencies. In 2019, Hemant got the mandate. Such a chief minister is arrested in a land scam case," Champai Soren said in support of his predecessor.

The 67-year-old leader, who earlier moved the confidence motion in the 81-member Assembly, accused the BJP of attempting to destabilise the democratically elected Jharkhand government.

"The BJP tried to destabilise the democratically elected Jharkhand government. They used central agencies to frame Hemant Soren in false cases," he asserted.

"Hemant hai to himmat hai (Where there is Hemant, there is strength)," Champai Soren added.

The chief minister declared that his government continues the Hemant Soren administration.

“Misuse of ED and CBI by the Centre a threat to democracy. I urge all to save democracy by following the path of the Father of the constitution,” remarked Champai Soren, referencing B.R. Ambedkar.

JMM legislature party leader Champai Soren assumed the role of chief minister on February 2, succeeding Hemant Soren, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate last week in a money laundering case.

(With ANI, PTI inputs)

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