In a gross disrespect to the federal structure and unity of India, Jharkhand Finance Minister Rameshwar Oraon made a controversial statement as he lamented how Biharis and Marwaris have filled the state at the expense of the tribals.
Addressing the Mahua Conference held at the Press Club where was the Chief Guest, Oraon claimed that Ranchi’s land has gone into the hands of others in an apparent reference to the Biharis and Marwaris. Oraon then proceeded to whine about how Ranchi is filled with people from Bihar, with Marawaris setting up a livelihood in the state capital.
To protect the ruling JMM-INC-RJD’s vote bank, Oraon then claimed that the Adivasis have become weak and that’s why the community is being exploited.
Oraon then reminisced about the time when the Adivasis used to hustle and bustle in Ranchi, with the community also naming prominent hamlets and the areas within the city.
Oraon then lamented that while the area and its name are there, however, the Adivasis no longer live there. Repeating his earlier statement about how the tribal community is now being exploited, Oraon added that the tribals have become weak due to urbanization. He added that efforts are being made to help the tribals from the government level.
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Citing the example of Imphal, the state Finance Minister said that due to the administration being in the hands of the tribals, the community can be found in Imphal, however, the opposite has happened in the case of Ranchi. Oraon claimed that the government is trying to raise the standard of living of the tribals living in rural areas. He added that, if the forest law is followed properly in the state, the people of the village will never be financially strapped nor will they need to go to another place in search of work. He noted that the forest in Jharkhand has survived due to tribal society.
The ruling alliance of JMM-INC-RJD heavily relies on the tribal electorate and Oraon’s statement can be read as an appeasement move. Ironically, the alliance consists of RJD – a Bihar based party.
This is nothing but an attempt by the ruling alliance to practice divisive politics by putting Jharkhand tribals at odd with the Bihari and Marwari communities.