Even as BJP and JMM announced a fresh power-sharing agreement in Jharkhand, former chief minister and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) leader Babulal Marandi on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court challenging the continuation of Sibu Soren as the chief minister.
In his petition, Marandi accused Soren of defrauding the electorate by abusing Article 164(4) that allows a minister/CM to hold office for six months without being a member of the state assembly.
“This provision ... is a special provision to enable leader of the majority party to serve as Chief Minister and contest any assembly seat so as to fulfil the expectations of the electorate…. The Constitution does not permit the hide-and-seek game in the garb of the above provision to use it as a sword to kill the very basic fabric of ... the Constitution,”
Marandi said in his petition.
Marandi sought a direction to the Jharkhand Governor to restrain Soren from functioning as a full-fledged CM and taking any
major policy decisions or effecting any appointments.
Marandi’s counsel Anurag Kumar said the petition would be mentioned for urgent hearing on Wednesday.
This is for the third time that Soren has become Jharkhand CM without being an MLA. First was on March 2, 2005. JMM was not in majority in the state assembly. He was forced to quit after nine days.
On August 27, 2008 he was again sworn in as Jharkhand CM without being an MLA. This time again he was forced to resign on January 18, 2009 after losing the Tamar assembly by-election to Jharkhand Party candidate Gopal Krishna Patar, aka Raja Peter by a margin of 9,062 votes.