Will cooperate if ED conducts impartial probe, else have strength to respond: Soren
Warning that if not done so he ‘has the strength to respond accordingly’, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren called upon his supporters to be ready to hit the streets like “sheep and ants” when required
Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren on Friday said that he was willing to cooperate with central agencies, investigating an ongoing money laundering probe related to illegal mining in Sahebganj district, if they conduct “impartial probe”.
Warning that if not done so he ‘has the strength to respond accordingly’, Soren called upon his supporters to stay united and be ready to hit the streets like “sheep and ants” when required.
Soren said he asked the officials of the federal agency on Thursday whether the alleged case is related only to his tenure.
“I went to ED yesterday and they questioned me for around 7-8 hours. I asked them whether these allegations and probe are only of the past two years. They said ‘no, this is not only of two years’. Then I asked them ‘why don’t you say that this is for the past 10 years’. I told them that they should be transparent in their probe,” the chief minister said.
The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader made the comments while addressing party workers assembled outside his official residence in Ranchi in his support, a day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) questioned him for around 10 hours in connection with the probe.
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“I told them that I will cooperate fully if you [ED] are impartial. Otherwise, I have all the strength to reply accordingly. I have no issues with the agencies per se. But the example and message that’s coming out is not right. Such actions are being taken only in non-BJP-ruled states, be it Telangana, Kerala, West Bengal, Bihar or Chhattisgarh. The agencies should answer that as well,” Soren said.
Urging all Adivasis and Moolvasis (original inhabitants) to come under one roof, the chief minister asked his supporters to expose the ‘conspiracy of the BJP’ at the village level and ensure only Moolvasis are elected in the next Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections.
Sources said that while Soren assured ruling party legislators during a meeting that there was nothing to worry about and they must return to their constituencies, the he asked his supporters that they need to be alert and expose those ‘trying to destabilise’ their government.
“It is time the Moolvasis and Adivasis come under the same roof. The BJP is conspiring to divide and rule. Some leaders create confusion in the guise of being Adivasi and Moolvasi. Keep your eyes and ears open, and be ready to come out like sheep and ants against the conspirators when required,” Soren said.
JMM workers, ministers and ruling party legislators were stationed in the state capital since November 16 ahead of the chief minister’s questioning, but they were directed to head back home on Friday till further directions.