Congress has become too big for its boots, says Sita Soren

Congress has become too big for its boots, says Sita Soren

Sita Soren, the eldest daughter-in-law of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) supremo Shibu Soren, represents Jama in the outgoing Assembly. Jama adjoins Dumka, the constituency represented by Chief Minister Hemant Soren. Sita entered politics after her husband Durga Soren, Hemant’s elder brother, passed away in 2009 due to illness.

In a free-wheeling interview with Abhay Kumar of Deccan Herald, Sita (the third most powerful leader in JMM after Shibu and Hemant) dwells at length on why the party should not be underestimated.

Excerpts:     

Deccan Herald: Now that nearly half of the constituencies have gone to polls, do you regret not joining hands with the Congress. Do you think an alliance with the grand-old-party would have helped JMM check BJP’s march to victory?

Sita Soren: The answer is Yes and No. Yes because an alliance would have prevented split of non-BJP votes. And no because the Congress had become too big for its boots. It was making unreasonable demands.

DH: Please elaborate..

SS: Like it did in the Lok Sabha elections. The Congress contested 10 of the 14 Lok Sabha seats while leaving the rest four seats for us though we have a huge presence across Jharkhand. And the result was for everyone to see.
The Congress lost in all the 10 seats while we won two of four seats. Similarly, it wanted a bigger piece in the pie this time too, without realising that its fortunes were on downswing.

DH: What led to the collapse of the alliance? And secondly, is it not strange that Congress leaders continue to be ministers in outgoing Hemant Soren government and yet the JMM and Congress are fighting against each other?


SS: What can we do? The seat adjustments or alliance, as you call could not fructify precisely because the demands made by the Congress were unreasonable. For example, the Congress wanted Pakur seat for former speaker Alamgir Alam, while we had a sitting MLA there (Aquil Akhtar).

DH: So, you think that the BJP has an advantage because of JMM-Congress split?

SS: Just wait till December 23. You will be surprised with the outcome of result as we are going to sweep Santhal Pargana region which has 18 of total 81 Assembly constituencies.

DH: But the grapevine has it that the BJP is doing exceedingly well in urban areas like Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Dhanbad, Hazaribagh?

SS: Our party patriarch Shibu Soren and Chief minister Hemant Soren are working overtime to tell the voters to compare 14 years (when Jharkhand was created) vs 14 months (Hemant was sworn in as chief minister 14 months back).
Unlike the BJP, we do not indulge in propaganda. Otherwise, tell me where are the achche din? In Dumka, potato is being sold at Rs 25 and onion at Rs 30.
Is this what Modiji claimed to do during parliamentary polls when he said he will check price rise. You cannot fool all the people all the time.

DH: But the BJP says that you, while contesting from Jama, were involved in horse-trading case of Rajya Sabha election and have got a conditional bail.

SS:  Yeh sab allegations niradhar hai (These are baseless allegations). They had also put my father-in-law Shibu Soren behind bars. These people (BJP) can go to any extent to crucify you. But we work for poor people and have come to power through their unstinting support.

Don’t underestimate us. Just wait till the D-day. Many pollsters, who are predicting a BJP win in Jharkhand, will be left twiddling their thumbs.

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