Jharkhand will use 1932 land records to ascertain local residents

Ranchi: Amid political uncertainty in Jharkhand, Hemant Soren-led UPA government on Wednesday gave its sign of approval to use the 1932 land records to decide those who are local residents. The choice was taken in the setting of tribals’ interest that the last land survey conducted by the British government in 1932 be utilized as the basis for defining locals.

“The cabinet approved the proposal to implement Khatian of 1932 in the state. The ‘Jharkhand Definition of Local Persons and for Extending the Consequential Social, Cultural and Other Benefits to such Local Persons Bill, 2022 has been cleared by the council of ministers,” Cabinet Secretary Vandana Dadel told reporters after the meeting.

People whose ancestors were living in the state before 1932 and whose names were included in that year’s territory records will be taken as local occupants of Jharkhand.

A proposition with this impact will be sent to the Centre to include it in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution, Ms. Dadel said.

On account of landless persons or individuals whose names were not recorded in the 1932 land survey, Gram Sabha will accept an approach on it, the official said.

The residence policy has remained controversial ever since Jharkhand was cut out of Bihar on November 15, 2000. The previous BJP government in the state had, in 2016, declared 1985 as the cut-off year for defining local people.

But after the JMM-led alliance came to the power in the state in 2019, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha supremo Shibu Soren declared that the 1932 land records ought to be made the premise to figure out the habitation strategy.

The government’s decision came amid a political crisis in the state over the chance of Mr. Soren’s preclusion as an MLA in connection with an office-of-profit case.

Governor Ramesh Bais, who returned to Ranchi on September 8 after a week-long stay in Delhi, has been keeping up with quiet over the Election Commission of India’s recommendation on Soren.

Recently, Mr. Bais had guaranteed ruling UPA MLAs of eliminating any confusion about the EC’s opinion on a petition seeking the CM’s disqualification from the assembly in the office-of-profit case. Despite the overall crisis, the state cabinet had recently approved the standard operating procedure (SOP) for executing the old pension scheme, which was stopped on April 1, 2004, and supplanted with the National Pension System (NPS).

The government also restored compensatory leaves for the police force.

The Hemant Soren government had on September 5 won the confidence vote in the assembly by a comfortable edge, which helped the politically sagacious tribal leader consolidate his hold over the state.

Upwards 48 MLAs voted in favor of the confidence motion in the 81-member assembly – 29 of the JMM, 15 of the Congress, one each of RJD, NCP, and CPIML(L), and an Independent – even as the opposition party BJP-led NDA left the House in that day.

By Archana

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