Jharkhand On Auction: Reality of 'Make In India'

The budget session of the Assembly is on. Questions are being raised on the issues such as rehabilitation of the displaced, the policy for employment of local people, food security, corruption, and control over crime. In response, the Raghuvar Das government has MOUs worth 62000 crores signed at the Make in India mela with corporate looters like Adani and Vedanta. Even a cursory glance at these MOUs makes it obvious that they are nothing but papers to auction away the State of Jharkhand. He has assured corporate houses at the Make in India mela in Mumbai that he has a ‘land bank’ and they need not worry about land. He also assured them that taxes will be very low and labour laws will be greatly relaxed.

In praise of this the Governor in her address called this government a government with ‘direction’. This government is touting slogans like ‘jansamwad’ (dialogue with the people), transparency, and end to corruption; through this Raghuvar Das is trying unsuccessfully to hide the governmental attacks on the people’s land of Jharkhand. The reality is that his government is acting against its constitutional responsibilities for the people’s welfare in order to pander to the interests of corporate companies.

Ever since coming to power the Raghuvar government has been playing one trick after another to weaken the land laws, and it is not the first government to do so. The BJP governments led by Babulal Marandi and Arjun Munda had also carried out the same agenda. Raghuvar has made the Tribal Advisory Board (TAC) his tool in this matter. Last year in the 8 August TAC meeting a high level committee for review of the CNT-SPT Act was discussed. In the following December he announced that the scheduled area regulation courts constituted under the provisions of the CNT Act (1969) were being scrapped; even today there are over 4000 land cases pending in these courts. In the face of strong opposition by the people of Jharkhand the government had to roll back this step. Now the Chief Minister has decided to form a committee for giving loans instead of land to adivasis and bank officials will be part of this committee. The government is thus drilling a secret hole into the CNT-SPT Act (Chhota Nagpur Tenancy Act-Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act) in order to make a ‘land bank’. This is the reason displacement, land grab, and other such issues are missing from Raghuvar Das’ ‘Jansamwad’.

Earlier, in order to crush people’s interests, the Marandi government had tried to mould the newly formed State of Jharkhand into a police state. Subsequent BJP governments unleashed bloodshed upon agitators and also made Jharkhand into the safest State for loot of minerals and land. Through 71 MOUs Arjun Munda gave away 1.5 lakh acres of landto cororate houses. Now Raghuvar Das, by drilling holes in the CNT-SPT Act, is also snatching away the lawful and constitutional recourses of the people.

The BJP government is well aware of the repercussions this assault on people’s land will have. For 15 years the people of the State have fought loot and land grab through struggles, and governments have tottered. This government is indulging in criminalization of the legislature and government machinery through which it is attempting to fulfill the conspiracy to crush agitations and open all doors for corporate loot.

On the one hand, in order to buy stability for its government, the BJP has allowed the law of the land to be held hostage by criminal MLAs like Dhallu Mahto; on the other, it has also converted the legislature into a tool for corruption by engineering the defection of 6 out of 8 JVM legislators. Out of these 6 legislators, 2 have been given Cabinet berths, one of whom, Randhir Singh, was a witness in the Ajmer Sharif bomb blast. Top officials of the RSS were implicated in the Ajmer Sharif blasts, and as a reward for turning into a hostile witness, this defector from the JVM was awarded a Ministerial berth. Naveen Jaiswal is an accused in the Rajya Sabha cash-for-votes scam which is under investigation by the CBI.

In 2005 the then Chief Minister Arjun Munda had secured an MOU of Rs 41000 from LN Mittal. This was being touted as a great leap in development. In 2011 Mittal had to pull back from this project. The conspiracy of the government to use false rehabilitation policies to delude the people who were staging agitations against land loot did not succeed. These agitations have exposed the reality of the ‘development’ of the ruling classes. Raghuvar Das has auctioned off Jharkhand to Adani and Vedanta in the Make in India mela in Mumbai. In doing so it has once again pushed the State in the direction of land loot to the tune of thousands of acres, new Coalgate and other scams, as well as a terrifying situation of displacement.

Governmental Pardon for Criminals

The decision to take back the serious criminal charges against Dhullu Mahto is a fitting example of the working of the Raghuvar government. Recently a Russian firm accused Dhullu Mahto of intimidation and extortion, and the Russian Embassy appealed to the Jharkhand government for action in the matter. He is notorious as the newly emergent for goondaism in land and jobs in the Baghamara coal area of Dhanbad; there are about a dozen serious criminal cases registered against him. The fact is that the BJP has long standing relations with old mafia groups also. After 6 months of hush-hush governmental machinations the Raghuvar Das government decided to take back the criminal cases against Dhullu Mahto.

The relations between the police as well as the BJP with armed breakaway groups of Maoists are well-known. Through this innocent villagers are being continually killed in the name of dealing with Maoism. The police sometimes call it encounter killing and sometimes ‘internal clashes’ according to its convenience.

Rural Poor Agitation for Food Security

The situation of food security in Jharkhand is in a shambles. Despite all promises the government has not yet been able to issue ration cards to needy families. This is emerging as a very big issue in the State. Further, many of the poor and needy remain outside the purview of Food Security. The CPI(ML) held protests and gheraos on these issues from 9 to 16 February on the block level, in which thousands of rural poor participated.

Panchayat Elections: Government on Slippery Ground

The BJP got a severe jolt in the recently concluded non-party based panchayat elections. Apart from the Palamu division the BJP-backed candidates got a drubbing everywhere else. After large scale horse-trading in the zila parishad and misuse of government machinery they could only manage Council President posts for candidates supported by them in 9 out of 24 districts. In Giridih district the BJP had to withdraw its candidate and they were forced to give support to JMM and JVM here to oppose the CPI (ML) which emerged as the single largest party in the district council.

Govt. Press Release on MOUs



Assuring industrialists that the atmosphere for investment has become much better, the Chief Minister said that Inspector Raj has been ended in Jharkhand. Now factories and other companies in the State only need to submit one return to the Labour Department, whereas earlier this number was 36. Enquiries into companies will be reduced and will now be conducted only once in 5 years. 58 industries have been exempted from taking consent to operate and establishment...

The Chief Minister told investors that the State government has ensured speedy disposal of investment proposals by implementing a single window system, and has also arranged a ‘land bank’ so that required land for opening industries can be easily arranged. The government is ready to give 200 acres immediately to industrialists. He further said that many opportunities have been made available to investors in the fields of information technology, mining, power, and agriculture as well as other fields. Investments will be given relaxation in VAT and proposals related to investment will be settled within a time period of one month.

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