Raghubar Das, who will head the BJP Government in Jharkhand following his election by the BJP Legislature Party on Friday, spoke to Suman K Shrivastava on the challenges facing the state, his priorities and plan to bring the state on the track of development.
What are the challenges before you?
I am getting a legacy of major problems in the field of law and order, health, education, slow industrial growth and lack of development, particularly in the rural areas. The situation took a turn for the worse during the last 14 months of the JMM-Congress rule when there has been only loot and loot.
The Jharkhand nomenclature parties exploited the sentiments of the tribals and virtually destroyed them. We face the daunting challenge of bringing the tribals and other underprivileged sections of the society at par with their well off brethren. We have to stop large-scale migration, particularly of girls and women to the metros. The education sector is at a standstill, leading to large-scale students’ migration to other cities. Problems are a aplenty.
How will you overcome them?
We have to first create infrastructure like road, power etc. We are going to implement Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for agriculture and ensure irrigation facility so that the farmers can harvest three crops in a year. We have to create an environment in which women and girls feel safe. We have to provide an accountable administration.
On backlash from tribals for appointing a non-tribal as CM
Ethnicity has not been an issue in this election. Everybody wants development. We fought the 2104 Parliamentary elections on the agenda of development only. People voted for Modiji rising above caste, creed and religion. That was the sole reason why the BJP emerged as a big party in Muslim-majority Jammu & Kashmir. Regional parties resort to vote bank politics and believe in divisive politics. Now, it’s not the time for divisive politics but for development.
Have you got any special plan for tribals?
We have 12 tribal-dominated districts in Jharkhand. So, we have a plan to give special emphasis to three districts every year for ensuring their all-round development, covering all of them within the next four years. Besides, we will be withdrawing over 6,000 petty cases lodged against the tribals and Dalits after undertaking a detailed review of the cases. We will be taking a decision in consultation with the Centre for increasing old age and widow pension for all sections of the society.
What are your priorities?
We are committed to give a corruption-free government. The anti-corruption wings like the Vigilance Bureau and Lokayukta will be strengthened and given a free hand. We are going to set up more special courts for speedy trial of the corruption cases. We have to find a long-term solution for tackling the Naxal menace. The threat posed by left-wing extremists has increased over the years due to the existence of a weak government. We were not able to provide the basic needs to the villagers, which coalesced into an outrage against the government. If we ensure development at the grassroots, we will be able to effectively tackle the Naxal issue.
You are accused of being anti-industry?
It is not so. It was a canard spread by my opponents. I have been a trade union leader, but never indulged in ‘lock up’ politics. I just wanted Tatas to provide basic facilities to the evictees, which the company was mandated to do under the land lease agreement signed with the state government. I strongly believe that the corporate sector has to play a vital role in the development of the state. The government cannot do everything. We have to adopt public-private partnership in various fields, including education, road and power. We are going to create a land bank and put a single window system in place so that the investors do not have to wander here and there.