Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Baripada, 28 March:
For the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha JMM, the demand for the creation of a Special Autonomous Council comprising Mayurbhanj, Sundargarh and Keonjhar districts in north Odisha, will be the party’s major plank during the election campaign in the state.
Talking to media persons while he was in Baripada, the Jharkhand chief minister and JMM leader Hemant Soren said the BJD government, which has been ruling Odisha for the last 14 years, was working against the interests of the tribal people in the state .
Assertng his party’s commitment for the uplift of the tribal people, Soren said that only a special autonomous council can help address issues of regional imbalance in mineral-rich districts like Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Sundergarh which have been filling the coffers of the state and yet were grossly neglected in every respect.
He said the people in these three districts are deprived of basic amenities like drinking water, health care and education while electrification and road communication in these districts continue to be very poor..
Pointing out that Mayurbhanj district does not have a single large industry, he said while a few exist in the other two districts, the benefits of mining or industrialization had not percolated down to the grass roots.
The state government and the corporate houses are prospering at the expense of the tribals and the poor people in these three districts, he alleged.
He said the JMM has fielded candidates in eight Assembly segments and one Lok Sabha seat in Mayurbhanj district.
It may be noted here that JMM’s Odisha unit chief Sudam Marandi has quit the party and walked over to the ruling Biju Janata Dal which has offered him a ticket for the Uadala Assembly constituency.