What are the most important issues for the tribals in your area?
Unemployment, migration and lack of development.
You were part of the protest against the Koel-Karo project. Would you scrap the Koel-Karo project if you come to power?
I did support the movement against the project. But I don't want it scrapped. I would get it reviewed and find out how much local people would benefit it.
Is the legal protection for tribals adequate?
There is ample legal protection. You don't need new laws. Just adequate implementation of the existing laws is enough. But implementation is with the state government. The ministers have to be able to appreciate the people's problems. How was Babulal Marandi going to do that? He became chief minister shouting "Jai Shree Ram!"
Are there any national-level tribal leaders?
There are no tribal leaders of a national stature. They are too caught up in local issues.
What is your vision of development in tribal areas?
Water for irrigation will bring prosperity and rights over the forest will ensure adequate supportive livelihood. The day these things happen, tribals will be happy
Due you think displacement due to mining is a major problem in your state?
We want mining like in the Northeast. Large-scale mining is not possible under the control of the local people. There has to be the right mix of tribal and non-tribal contributions in development. Someone who has capital to invest should also be part of the process. Adivasis should not be condemned to the forests. If there are minerals under the earth, they should be exploited and used for overall development.
But the Northeast is governed by the Sixth Schedule. Jharkhand comes under the Fifth Schedule. How will you have the same systems?
I don't know about the Fifth and Sixth Schedules. But if there is such a division, then this should not be so. Combine both the schedules and make them flexible.