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Stop Posco Project: Jual Oram


Posted on Saturday May 24, 2014

Last updated Wednesday July 06, 2016

  Jual Oram, Odisha, BJP, Tribal, Development, Posco

Odisha's lone BJP MP Jual Oram, while talking to Bibhuti Pati, urged to stop the project of Posco keeping in view the strong public opposition on ground.

Bibhuti Pati

“I will continue to fight to protect the rights of tribal communities of Odisha and other parts of India,” said Jual Oram, the lone Bharatiya janata Party (BJP) leader elected to the Lok sabha, the lower house of India Parliament, from Odisha.

While in Delhi after the results came and Modi was designated by the BJP parliamentary party to lead the government as Prime Minister, Jual said, “I am a disciplined soldier of the party and, so, will abide by whatever the party decides for me to do. I am never anxious for any post or power.”

Asked about the disastrous show of BJP in Odisha parliamentary elections, Jual tried to save the face of the state chapter of BJP and its leadership saying, “It’s not a disastrous show in Odisha at all.

In 2009, we won no seats and were at second position only in one seat. This time we won one seat and are at the second place in 9 seats. The number and share of votes have improved as well. So, we are gradually growing in Odisha.”

While refuting to the allegations of any internal conflict in the state chapter of BJP, which is believed to a major reason of party’s weak show in the state, Jual said, “Ours is a democratic party and difference of opinion is common in a democracy. Ho can it be called internal conflict?”

When many believe that weak presence of BJP’s cadre generator Rastriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in Odisha is a deterring factor on the way of BJP’s growth in Odisha, Jual said, “BJP has strong presence at the grassroots. Yes, we failed to win many seats but that doesn’t mean party’s weak organisation in the state,” avoiding to tell anything about RSS.

Believed to a vehement critic of Naveen Patnaik and BJD government, since BJP-BJD coalition broke in 2009, Jual had a tactical reply when asked about his stand in case Narendra Modi invites Naveen Patnaik to join BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) or Naveen suo moto supports NDA to uphold the special interests of Odisha. “Personally I am not against Naveen though I have opposed the anti-people works of his government at different points of time. And, the issue of Naveen Patnaik joining NDA or the government at the centre is not in my control. It’s a completely within the prerogatives of the union government and the central leadership of the party,” Jual said.

As Modi and Naveen both have won the elections by playing development card, industrialisation would be pursued more vigorously and infrastructure development programmes implemented in India and, obviously, in Odisha. In such a case, possibility of further displacement of tribal people cannot be overruled as it has always been the prominent issue on the way of development. Asked about his view on the issue, Jual said, “I myself and my party believe in development that ensures zero displacement. So, I think such issues will never arise.”

Referring to his role in the tribal movement against mining at Khandadhar, the hill range with huge iron ore reserved in its belly, when asked if his role is going to change after his party takes charge of governance at the centre, Jual said, “In any condition, I will not support Khandadhar and the Paudi Bhuyans to be endangered.”

As a note of trust on the forthcoming BJP led government, Jual said, “I hope, our government at the centre will not take any decision against tribal communities and environment. Still, whenever the question of mining at Khandadhar comes, I will try my best to present its possible impacts before our leadership.”

Asked about his views about the future of much touted largest foreign direct investment project of Posco, Jual urged to stop the project keeping in view the strong public opposition on ground.

“I and my party have always opposed such development projects that are anti-people, anti-nature and lead to displacement of indigenous people and communities. My party is well aware of the impacts of such policies,” Jual said.

[Bibhuti Pati is the senior associate editor of]

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