JharkhandLok Sabha elections

Kalpana’s Hope Vs Modi’s Critique: Contrasting Speeches Shape Jharkhand’s Election Narrative

Kalpana Soren Murmu, wife of jailed ex-CM Hemant Soren not only fought her first election in life but led an impressive campaign for the INDIA bloc in Jharkhand

Ranchi: “Aapki (BJP) itni himakat ho gayi, 2019 mei jeet ke baad, aapka apna beta, apna dada jisko aapne mukhya mantri banaya, aaj chunav se theek pehle, unko BJP walon ne jail mei dalne ka kaam kiya hai, wo bhi sadyantra ke tahat. Jis zameen ki baat karte hain, us zameen ka ek bhi kagaz nahi hai, fir bhi 3 mahine se jail mei hain. Jail mei Hemant Soren sangarsh kar rahe hain, lekin bahar mei ek-ek jan, Hemant Soren hain, aapko is sangarsh ko aage badhana hai, kyunki ye chunav BJP banam janta ka chunav hai (After the win in 2019, your son and brother Hemant Soren was made a chief minister by you, but BJP dared to send him to jail just ahead of the elections. That is also a conspiracy as the land they are talking has no document proof, still he has been languishing in jail for 3 months. He (Hemant Soren) is striving inside the jail, but outside, you all are Hemant Soren. You have to take forward the struggle as it is an election between BJP and people of India).”

It was a different Kalpana Soren, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader, on May 28 campaigning for INDIA bloc candidate Vijay Kumar Hansdak, compared to March 4 when she had delivered her first public speech in Giridih. Back then, she was crying and sobbing for her husband, ex-chief minister Hemant Soren, who was sent to jail on corruption charges.

Leading the INDIA campaign, Kalpana held several public meetings and rallies for INDIA bloc candidates across Jharkhand and also contested the assembly bypoll from Gandey assembly segment.

While talking to eNewsroom, Kalpana mentioned that she had been a homemaker for 18 years since her marriage to Hemant Soren. But as a first-timer in politics, Kalpana handled the journalists’ queries well—whether from a single scribe or a group of them. Her confidence comes from her command in various languages. When questions were asked in English, she answered in the same language with ease, just as she did in Hindi and Santhali. She also knows Odia. She did election rallies with political stalwarts like Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, Arvind Kejriwal, Tejashwi Yadav and Dipankar Bhattacharya. Everywhere she spoke like a mature politician, not only raising the issue of Hemant Soren being sent to jail but also mentioning the work of the former chief minister.

Three hundred rallies and sabhas by Kalpana

The personal assistant to Kalpana Soren, Anuj Khatri, informed eNewsroom about the number of public appearances: “From April 23 to May 30 (as per schedule), she has done at least 50 election sabhas (public meetings) as well as rallies. This does not include the sabhas Kalpana ma’am has done for her Gandey constituency. From April 29, when she filed her nomination, to May 18, she did at least 12 public meetings every day.”

2024 Lok Sabha poll campaign comes to an end, let’s compare PM Modi and Kalpana’s speeches

Even as a first-timer, unlike Prime Minister Narendra Modi, neither Kalpana Soren’s election speeches remained issueless nor did they divide societies or communities or make personal attacks. While PM Modi faced several complaints for his speeches, Kalpana was praised by every section of people for her astute statements during the entire campaign.

“In my four-decade old grassroots political activities, I have witnessed several leaders but Kalpana Soren has some special charm, and her confidence even during the worst of crises is what people of Jharkhand needed,” Nasir Ansari, a former Mukhiya of Badgunda Panchayat in Gandey, told eNewsroom after meeting Kalpana Soren.

“Now she has given an option to JMM to make her chief minister and let Hemant Soren do national politics, as the country also needs a tribal leader. Kalpana might bring achche din for the party,” added the seasoned leader.

Shahnawaz Akhtar

is Founder of eNewsroom. He loves doing human interest, political and environment related stories.

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