Ranchi, Nov. 20: Bandhu Tirkey-led Jharkhand Janadhikar Manch (JJM) has called a statewide bandh on November 30 to demand a specific domicile policy.
Jharkhand Disom Party (JDP), which is led by former Mayurbhanj MP Salkhan Murmu, will also enforce a shutdown on the same issue on that day. Both these parties had spearheaded violent protests in favour of a domicile policy in 2002-03 as well.
Tirkey, however, stressed on Wednesday that the November 30 agitation would be peaceful. He also urged all political parties and other organisations fighting for the rights of tribals and local people to make the bandh successful.
The state had witnessed a bandh on the domicile issue on October 25. Apart from JDP and JJM, the Left and other regional parties supported the shutdown. All educational institutions and business establishments remained closed. Long-distance public vehicles did not ply. Train services were also affected at several places.
Similar response is expected on November 30 as the issue concerns tribals and other original settlers.
“It is a pity that children of poor people living in Jharkhand are unable to find even grade III and IV jobs in the absence of a clear-cut policy on local residents. Most of the leading political parties are clamouring for special status to divert public attention from the main issue,” Tirkey said at a news conference.
He reminded that while answering one of his questions in the Vidhan Sabha in 2012, then deputy chief minister Sudesh Mahto had promised that a local residents’ policy would be framed soon and that appointment of schoolteachers and police constables would be done accordingly.
The JMM, too, had withdrawn support to the BJP government in January this year on the same issue.
“It is rather intriguing that JMM, which is now heading the coalition government, is tight-lipped. Here, people are so ignorant about their rights that they keep mum even when their job reservation quota is restricted or they are denied opportunities to take recruitment exams conducted by the Jharkhand Public Service Commission. But, we are not going to sit idle,” he added.
Replying to another question, Tirkey said that Jharkhand was already a special state because the Panchayat Raj (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, Tribal Sub-plan, Fifth Schedule, Chotanagpur Tenancy Act and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act were in force here.
Almost the entire state has been covered under Backward Region Grants Fund, but still, the government has miserably failed to utilise the budgetary allocations, he pointed out.
“We are not opposed to special economic packages for Jharkhand. But the moot question is whether Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar only to build roads and bridges? The state should also give due rights to the oppressed. Moreover, almost all states have their domicile policies to safeguard the interests of the natives,” he added.
Tirkey, however, denied that Independent MLAs supporting the Hemant Soren government have called a meeting tomorrow to discuss their future action plans. “So far, no one has approached me. I have no idea about this meeting,” he added.