INTERVIEW | ‘My life changed completely after Hemant’s arrest’

I have now crossed all hurdles and we are in election mode. We are working hard to fight for the existence of ‘Jharkhandi’ identity, says Kalpana Soren.
INTERVIEW | ‘My life changed completely after Hemant’s arrest’

Kalpana Soren, the wife of jailed former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Sroen, has projected herself as the JMM top leader since the arrest of her husband in a money laundering case linked to a land scam.

In an interview with Mukesh Ranjan, she says that her life changed completely after her husband’s arrest in January. Excerpts:

How has been your political journey in the last two months?

My life has changed completely after January 31, the day Hemant ji was arrested by Enforcement Directorate (ED), because everything happened suddenly and created disturbances for me. I have now crossed all hurdles and we are in election mode. We are working hard to fight for the existence of ‘Jharkhandi’ identity.

How do you see the decision made by Sita Soren to quit JMM and join BJP?

The decision made by my elder sister-in-law came to us through the media, which shocked us. I was already shattered by the action taken against Hemant Soren ji and it took us some time to come out of that. I believe her decision is her personal and I respect, admire her as a younger sister-in-law.

Did you discuss with your husband the ‘Plan-B’ that if he is arrested, then what was to be done?

I was very much concerned about Hemant ji, especially about the ED action. I was taking care of the legal part, and since everyone in the family is engaged with his or her own responsibility, therefore, I think it is my personal duty as a wife and as a human being, that I should stand up for my family, for the party and for the party workers.

After a gap was created due to the arrest of Hemant ji, the party workers used to visit my residence and told me that they are missing Hemant ji and asking me to come out and take care of them. Due to the situation which arose and the responsibility I took up on my birthday, March 3, I took blessings of my in-laws and took a plunge into active politics.

Who do you think is responsible for your husband’s arrest?

Everybody knows that the nature of the land for which he has been put in jail is different. Before getting him arrested, the officials must have checked whether his name was there. Not a single paper is there in the name of Hemant Soren.

I just want to ask why this question is being asked to Hemant ji. Why don’t they ask it from the land owners as they still say that the land belongs to them. It is really a big question that the land owner has also been booked as accused.

Looking at the action taken against Hemant Soren, what action do you think should be taken against corruption?

I think corruption is not only in Jharkhand…Its everywhere in the world. Corruption could be in different forms…we are asking the Centre to get us our royalty and the Centre is sitting tight over it.

That is also corruption. We are asking for the Sarna Religion Code which has been completely ignored by the Central ministry. I am completely against corruption but the Central government is behaving with Jharkhand as a ‘sautela beta.’ That is also corruption. We feel cheated. That’s why Hemant ji raised his voice as a Chief Minister against the step-motherly treatment of Central government. The result is before you.

Can we say we are talking to the future Chief Minister of Jharkhand?

No...No. Right now, I am still learning from the thoughts and the ideals of my father-in-law Shibu Soren, my husband Hemant ji and my party workers. When the party workers look at me, they feel so energized and tell me about their journey with Guruji and I feel proud for them and my family.

Are you ready to take the responsibility of Chief Minister if your party workers propose your name?

People have made me a warrior and I love that word as I am a struggler and I feel like I am ready to take up a new challenge in my life. I would love to do that.

Do you think the new role taken up by you will create any problem in the party in future?

When I got a call from Rahul Gandhi, I said I would have to say something at the concluding ceremony of his Nyay Yatra. That was the day I first got an indication that I will be getting a big platform and will have to raise the voice for Hemant ji, especially for the warrior as he never bowed before anyone as Adivasi cannot bow before anyone: It is not in our DNA. He has chosen his path and I really appreciate it and we are all proud of him.

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