JVM has larger space than JMM in J’khand: Babulal Marandi
When political pivoting has started in Jharkhand well ahead of the twin elections coming in the form of Lok Sabha first followed soon by the Assembly in 2019, JVM is feeling itself as an important cog into the wheel. Party chief Babulal Marandi goes far beyond considering that the ‘cog’ has potential to play even pivot flashing its pan-Jharkhand presence better than once rival now partner JMM. Marandi in an exclusive chat with The Pioneer outlined the future course of action along with JVM’s space into the coming up coalition of the Opposition. Excerpts..
Not much time is left into the next political battle in Jharkhand. How do you observe this in relation to an anti-BJP coalition of all parties?
Time is less in the next election and every political party is preparing for that. Presently I cannot say what would make a practical Opposition but principally all believe that we should fight united. Small effort is being done at Gomia and Silli where all came together without any ifs and buts. This presents a belief that in the days to come some good would happen.
But there is a larger practical issue related to leadership. We have seen this upsetting the apple’s cart before.
Practical issues would be dealt when it would come to fore. I think people unnecessarily stress on this. We fought in 2009 with the Congress (without declaring a face). And also in 2014 we decided and finalised but something went wrong at the last moment.
Confusion is more because the Congress went on declaring Hemant Soren as face of the coalition this time well in advance.
I don’t know about that. Jab aayega to dekgenge. Commenting on something happening outside would not be proper.
But who among you people are going to play big brother’s role?
There is no question of big and small. We have to realise what is the ground reality. This is decided based on the leaders and support any party posses at local level. How many seats are there to contest is not important but whose chances are more, what is the hold of the organisation there are important. If we take this into consideration then there would not much problem. Problem arises when demand (for seats) are placed by arm twisting. Our formula is that the seat should go to the party that can win or the leader has that stature. This should be the only basis. When time would come a larger coordination committee may come into force to handle this.
Your party’s base is maintained but leaders are not settled and often seen marching out!
Even today if you talk about organisation I won’t say we are the strongest but we are not lesser than anyone. All district, panchayts have our units and people. We won good number of seats in 2009 and were perceived as an option in 2014. But people tend to hit those most who is considered as threat.
Modi wave of 2014 also build atmosphere in the favour of the BJP. This made our men demoralised a bit. People thought the BJP has the only chance. The BJP tried to dismantle us because they had fear that if we remain potent their dream of getting 40+ seats would not be fulfilled. They attacked us not the JMM knowing fully well that JMM possesses votes of a certain class and pocket. They cannot go beyond their limits. If anyone can stop the BJP it is the JVM.
In 2009 BJP-JD(U) won 20 while we and Congress won 25 together. More than half seats of JMM were tribal but we won only three such seats and 22 were non-tribal. BJP knew that who can stop them. That is why before and after 2014 they went after our MLAs. The atmosphere also helped their cause. Those eight seats which we won in 2014 were not tribal seats. JMM could not have won there and would have gone to the BJP had we not been there. The fact is enough to groom our workers into confidence as 2019 approaches.
Don’t you think the JVM should travel towards well settled political pillars and mainstream parties in the time like this when you are being poached again and again?
I cannot say what would happen tomorrow but at national level the mood of the country is swinging against BJP. None of the promises made has been met. Social fabric of the country is at stake. People think this like Talibanisation and situation is heading like Pakistan. This gives us hope which is sufficient to stop JVM from merging. We have so many people with us. Where would they go? If we go they would say us bhagoda. Offers are still there. Likeminded people can come together but there is no possibility of merging ours into any other party.
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