Big Business branding is failing Jharkhand: Babulal Marandi

Ranchi, Dec 14 (IANS) The central and state government’s branding of Jharkhand for big business was defeating the original purpose behind the creation of the state — namely to protect water, forests and land, former chief minister Babulal Marandi has said.

“(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi is branding Jharkhand to push big business projects. The purpose of Jharkhand seems to have failed in the present government,” Marandi, who as the state’s first chief minister from 2000 to 2003 headed an NDA government, told IANS.

While the agenda of the Jharkhand movement was to protect the culture, Jal (water), Jungle (forests) and Jamin (land), the development of local people was still a distant dream, he said

Marandi said the BJP government in Ranchi, led by Raghubar Das, was flaunting the World Bank rating for ease of doing business in Jharkhand without telling the world that 46 per cent of the population still lived below the poverty line.

“In Kolhan, under which East Singhbhum (Jamshedpur) and West Singhbhum are situated, the BPL families number more than 50 percent. This is the area where Tata Steel is. This is where good quality iron ore, gold mines and uranium exist, but people are still far from development.”

“The big industries are no solution to the state. They only displace people. Branding Jharkhand to invite big industries will not help the local people,” said Marandi, who currently presides over a truncated Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) after most of his MLAs defected to BJP.

He said Narendra Modi had made big promises during the poll campaign but nothing turned into reality in Jharkhand.

Marandi also cited Jharkhand assembly speaker Dinesh Oraon’s discontent to illustrate his point.

“Dinesh Oraon belongs to the ruling BJP and look at his mental trauma that he threatened to resign over functioning of the bureaucracy and the state government.”

The Speaker had said last Friday that the executive had been so obstructionist in releasing development funds for MLAs that he felt like resigning from his post.

Marandi said Chief Minister Raghubar Das had neither any achievement to show in road and power sectors nor had he been able to maintain a healthy law and order situation.

Marandi, a former Sangh Parivar member, had broken away from the BJP in 2006 and floated a new political party named Jharkhand Vikas Morcha.

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