“Had I been in the BJP, I would not have faced any charge of corruption. Neither any central agency booked me”, said Deepak Munda, a JMM worker.
His opinion is symptomatic of a general opinion among leaders and workers of the ruling coalition headed by JMM leader and Chief Minister Hemant Soren.
Indeed, Soren, son of JMM supremo Shibu Soren, is on record laughing and telling his coalition parties’ MLAs that he had “ buried” the seventh summon of the ED. This was greeted by many JMM workers as “Darne wala Nahi Hai(Not going to get scared).
None of them appears inclined to discuss or look into the authenticity and legality of seven summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate against CM Soren on charges of mining and land scams. Most of them are beneficiaries of the Soren government during the past four years of its tenure.
Some of them, especially tribals who belonged to support JMM, Congress, and RJD, sound critical of the Narendra Modi government. Like their leaders, they say the Modi government is using central investigating agencies to mow them down.
“ We are not afraid. We will fight…”, said Jadru Munda, a school teacher who is attached to JMM. Notwithstanding their opinion, Soren has decided to play a victim card.
This is visible by his decision not to appear before the ED despite seven summons. Also, mouth to mouth campaign launched by them against what they say is “misuse” of ED by the Modi government is going on in tribal communities.
This was sought to be strengthened by Soren’s sister Anjali Soren who has accused the ED of “harassing “ his brother Hemant Soren. Anjali Soren appears to have played a tribal card by stating that the central agency was doing it because his brother is tribal.
Talking to the news agency ANI in Bhuvneshwar, Anjali admits that the Modi government had made tribal Droupadi Murmu as President of India and uplifted many tribal communities.
But she alleged that her family is being harassed. “I would say that he is being harassed because he is tribal," Anjali is quoted as having told ANI on Sunday. “The government fears that if the Hemant Soren government continues, they (BJP) won't get tribal votes.
When asked by ANI about speculations that Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren's wife, Kalpana Soren, could be the next CM of the state in case of ED action against him, Anjali is quoted having said that if needed, she could become the Chief Minister
Earlier last week, the ED issued the seventh summons to the Jharkhand CM under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, asking him to record his statement. As he had not turned up for ED's seven summons, this time the agency stated that it is his last opportunity to record the statement.