Is BJP trying to woo Hemant Soren in Jharkhand?

Ranchi: After Madhya Pradesh, will the BJP turn its attention to Jharkhand? Sources have indicated that the BJP is trying to woo Hemant Soren, the chief minister, who in alliance with the Congress formed the government in the state last year.

Bringing back Babulal Marandi to the BJP is a part of the bigger game plan, sources in Jharkhand claimed.

A close aide of Marandi told IANS, “When Hemant Soren took oath as the chief minister last year, he first came to the residence of Babulal Marandi and touched his feet. Soren treats Marandi like his father. One should not be surprised if Soren decides to part ways with the Congress with whom he is very uneasy of late.”

He added that bringing Marandi into the saffron fold is only a part of the bigger game plan to form the government in Jharkhand. “Whenever the situation arises, the BJP will not hold back from forming the government with the support of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha,” he said.

Sources claim that due to the tussle between the Congress and the JMM, chief minister Soren has not yet inducted a Christian into his cabinet in spite of the Congress putting a lot of pressure on him.

Soren of late has also started playing the politics of soft Hindutva by offering prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi and Deoghar, a prominent Hindu religious place in Jharkhand, though before the elections he had said the tribals have a separate religion other than Hinduism.

In 2009, the BJP had extended support to the JMM to form a government led by Shibu Soren, Hemant Soren’s father.