Ranchi: A first in the history of Jharkhand, almost all opposition parties took on to the road to protest against the amendment being made in the Land Acquisition bill by the Jharkhand government, deteriorating of law and order, increasing cases of mob lynching and rapes in the state, and make Jharkhand bandh successful.
After the amendments in the land bill, the government will not need any social impact assessment report or seek the owner’s permission to acquire land for the projects of government.
The Jharkhand bandh called across state created the right impact right from its state capital Ranchi to Jharkhand Vikash Morcha (JVM) chief’s native district Giridih to Godda and Dumka, which is regarded as the second capital of Jharkhand. Godda had been in news off late, with reports land being forcibly acquired for the power-plant being set up by the Adani Group and the lynching of two cattle traders.
The national highways along with the roads across the state donned a deserted look with buses, trucks and even heavy vehicles being off the road. Railway services had also been affected. With cadres of JMM, JVM, Congress and CPI-ML calling for bandh from 7 in the morning, shops across the state were shutdown. In most cities, seeing even the school managements had announced the closure of their schools a day in advance.
To ensure no disruptions occurred during the band, heavy police force had been deployed in every district of Jharkhand. The police had also used social and mainstream media to warn protesters against causing damage to public property. Some officials had also organised a meeting with opposition leaders on July 4.
However, this time opposition parties seem determined to make the bandh a successful. They even organised a torch march on Wednesday evening, as a precursor to the band.
In the afternoon, hundreds of party supporters including former chief minister and leader of opposition Hemant Soren, JVM chief Babulal Marandi, Congress president Ajoy Kumar and CPI-ML leader Vinod Singh had been detained by the Jharkhand police. Ajoy Kumar and Vinod Singh were also arrested for sometime at Firayalal Chowk in Ranchi but later released. While several sitting and former MLAs, including Irfan Ansari and Dr Saba Ahmed, were arrested. They were released in the evening, only after the bandh came to an end.
Before hitting the roads, the alliance had tasted success during the Silli and Gomia bypolls. A united opposition parties had given a tough fight to BJP and its allies. Both the seats were won by JMM.
Before the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the grand alliance is already ringing the alarm bells for the ruling BJP government led by Rahgubar Das, as far as Jharkhand is concerned.
During this bandh, several steps had been taken by the government and administration to lessen the impact. However, its success was visible across state.
After being released from the detention, Jharkhand State Congress President Ajoy Kumar told eNewsroom, “Jharkhand bandh was more than successful. As people from all communities whether it is minorities, Adivasis, farmers everyone joined the protest. We had only given the call, it’s they who made it successful. I think the people of Jharkhand have shown the mirror to Chief Minister Raghubar Das and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
The alliance was also working on social media where opposition party leaders were seen sharing and tweeting each other’s protesting pictures on Facebook and Twitter.
Speaking about the grand alliance and the impact that it will have in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the jubilant Congress chief added, “We are going to win all the 14 Lok Sabha seats from Jharkhand.”
However, Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das claimed that the bandh was not a successful one as people of the state had defied the bandh to make it a failure.