J’khand Language row: Ex-MLAs of ruling JMM leaves party

Ranchi: The ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) on Sunday received double blow after two ex-MLAs announced to leave the party owing to the ongoing language row and non implementation of local resident’s policy based on 1932 khatian (land records). In the morning, both Amit Mahto and his wife Seema announced their decision through social media stating that they had sent their resignation to JMM supremo Shibu Soren.

With this, three persons from the ruling alliance have so far resigned from their parties over the ongoing language row. Last month, former minister Geetashree Oraon had resigned from Congress, which is part of the ruling coalition in the state.

Amit, who had won from Silli on JMM ticket in 2014 assembly elections, said, “I had announced in the past that if Hemant Soren government doesn’t fulfill the demands of the people of this state on language and local resident’s policy, I shall resign in a month. As one month has expired today, I have tendered my resignation from JMM.”

On Friday, the state government removed Bhojpuri and Maghi from the regional languages list in the district level exams in Dhanbad and Bokaro to quell the ongoing protests over languages.

Mahto however demanded that all ‘non-Jharkhandi’ languages must be excluded from the regional languages list of the state recruitment policy.

 “Even though state government has amended the regional language list for Dhanbad and Bokaro, but other languages which aren’t native to this state  are included in many other districts. Also, Urdu is included as regional language in all 24 districts. Even though Jharkhand has Muslim population, but they aren’t urdu speaking ones. For example, in Silli, Muslims speak Panchpargania. In Dhanbad, Bokaro, they speak Khorta,” he said, adding that his another key demand is to make 1932 khatian (land records) as the basis for deciding state’s resident’s policy.

“There is no way we can comprise on these two issues. For us Jharkhandi asmita is more important than anything,” said Mahto, who was also a central working committee member of JMM.

His wife, Seema, who retained Silli on JMM ticket in 2018 bypolls after conviction of her husband in an old case, too offered similar reasons for leaving the party.

“For us, people, their aspirants, our language, and culture are more important. We expected that this government will work towards it but so far it has been a big disappointment on these two aspects. Hence, I too have tendered my resignation,” she said. JMM is still to officially comment on the developments.