As BJP cosies up to Soren, its poll campaign returns to haunt

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 30 2009, 04:28am hrs
In the run-up to the Assembly elections in Jharkhand, the BJP brass wanted JMM leaders, presumably including its chief Shibu Soren, in jail for being at the forefront, along with Madhu Koda, for looting the state of Jharkhand. The BJP leaders had also alleged that the CBI had compromised its independence while dealing with cases involving Soren. BJP leaders had also consistently charged Soren with promoting dynasty in the tribal state.

The BJP took a stunning U-turn after the declaration of results in the state and agreed to prop up Soren for the state had thrown up a fractured mandate, and stability in the state would have suffered if it had failed to prop up a government.

Sample this: On November 29, addressing a series of rallies across Jharkhand, the then BJP president, Rajnath Singh, said in his rallies that most of top JMM, Congress, RJD leaders would go to jail if an independent inquiry was conducted to know who profited during the rule of the Madhu Koda-led UPA government. The JMM and the RJD are to be blamed for supporting the Congress in leading the state into chaos, Rajnath had alleged.

The crux of this argument was echoed by other central leaders in their campaign. In election rallies he addressed with JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav in Godda and Bokaro, Advani had said that all (non-BJP) parties in the state were to blame for the corruption in the state. Going a step further, Yadav had held the JMM and Congress responsible for the corruption in the state and propping up Koda. Dariwala Guruji (JMM chief Shibu Soren is fondly addressed as Guruji), lantern- wala Laluji and panja-wala Congress patronised Koda and set him free like a sandh (ox) to graze the entire state, Yadav had said.

Early this year, while raising questions on how the independence of the CBI had been compromised, BJP leader Arun Jaitley had named Shibu Soren, besides taking the names of Satish Sharma, Lalu Yadav and others while arguing that the CBIs conduct was dictated by political convenience. Sushma Swaraj, while echoing most of the charges made by other BJP leaders, had also accused the JMM chief of perpetuating dynastic rule in the state. One of Sorens sons had emerged as his political manager who held talks with other party leaders, including those of the BJP.