A worthy son of a worthy father, Basant Soren is a people’s friendly politician. Born into an illustrious political family, he has seen and understood politics from a very close quarter of his life. No less passionate than his father Shibu Soren, who is credited with fighting a long and extensive battle, that in the end proved to be a successful struggle, for separate statehood for Jharkhand, is an affable, energetic, kind, and a people’s person politician. The wellbeing of the people of his constituency in particular, and of the State in general, is at the very heart of his politics and the purpose of his social life.
Basant Soren became an MLA from the Dumka constituency of Jharkhand in the month of November last year after he defeated his BJP rival candidate and a former Minister Louis Marandi by over 6,842 votes in a by-election poll. This despite the fact that some of the top BJP leaders who have also been the former Chief Ministers of Jharkhand such as Babulal Marandi, Raghuvar Das and Arjun Munda had organized several meetings and campaigns seeking votes in favor of BJP candidate Louis Marandi. This gives a glimpse about Basant’s popularity or the confidence he enjoys among the people of Dumka. The opposition had aggressively campaigned and tried their level best to defeat Basant Soren from the said constituency but Basant defeated their attempts to defeat him and in the end emerged victorious in a hotly contested political battle.
The said by-election was necessitated by the fact that Dumka’s seat had got vacant after Basant Soren’s elder brother and the current Chief Minister of Jharkhand won from two seats in the State i.e. Dumka & Barhait, and decided to retain the latter. It is pertinent to mention here that Dumka is considered to be a ‘Karmabhoomi’ of Basant’s father and the tallest leader of the Jharkhand movement
Shibu Soren, popularly known as Guru Ji in Indian politics. It is from Dumka that Shibu Soren commenced his political journey. He first won his Parliamentary election in the year 1980 from the Dumka Loksabha Constituency only & thereafter repeated these victories in 1989, 1991, 1996, 2004, and 2014 from this very Constituency. And this is why perhaps, Dumka is considered to be a stronghold for JMM and the Soren family.
But, despite Dumka being a stronghold for JMM, the Party had not abruptly fielded him from there. Before an official decision was made to field him from the said Constituency, the Party had undertaken ground-level surveys, and its only after the Party’s grassroots assessment that Basant was decided to be fielded from there. His Party, while fielding him from Dumka, had said that multiple requests and feedbacks from ground level were coming to field Basant as a candidate in the by-election and this is what played a significant role in putting a final stamp on his name. This shows his Party’s democratic decision-making process, commitment to its cadres and paying attention to the people’s calls from ground level. The reason behind this probably is, JMM is a party born out of a Movement, and therefore priorities of the people become the priorities of the Party for JMM.
Though this was the first electoral battle for Basant Soren in terms of electioneering and direct involvement of people, he had previously been fielded as a Rajyasabha candidate in the year 2016 but had lost to Industrialist Mahesh Poddar in a hotly contested and to an extent a controversial contest that witnessed two of his Party’s members absent on the day of voting, including one being arrested on the day of voting, seemingly with an ulterior political motive to prevent Basant Soren from reaching Rajyasabha. Despite all this dirty power politics at play, Basant Soren had put up stiff resistance to Industrialist Mahesh Poddar.
Basant has a dream for developing Dumka. He really wants Dumka to shine on the national podium in terms of the best infrastructural facilities, education, health, roads, electricity, and so on. He often says in many of his interviews that he wants Dumka to become a tourist hub after observing its tourism potential. He says, he has Constitutionally allocated a tenure of five years to undertake the different developmental activities he dreams of for Dumka, but that he will try his level best to bring Dumka into the national limelight only in a time span of 2 to 3 years.
Coming from the tribal community himself, he understands the pain of the poor. He understands the suffering of the downtrodden sections of society, the socially and the economically marginalized ones. And this is why he is always and easily accessible to the people of his constituency for extending all kinds of help and support. He is the one who stands with the people in the time of their need. His doors are always open for the masses at large. No one returns disappointed from his doors. The politics, for him, is the upliftment of the poor and the marginalized. Let us see, how Dumka develops itself under the leadership of Basant Soren in the years to come.