Champai quits, Hemant Soren set to return as Jharkhand CM | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Champai quits, Hemant Soren set to return as Jharkhand CM

Jul 04, 2024 01:26 AM IST

Hemant Soren set to return as Jharkhand's chief minister after Champai Soren resigned. Hemant has staked claim and likely to take oath on July 7.

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) executive president Hemant Soren looked set to return as Jharkhand’s chief minister after he was elected the leader of the state’s ruling alliance and staked claim to form the government after the resignation of Champai Soren from the post on Wednesday, people aware of the matter said.

Champai Soren (right) tenders his resignation as chief minister to governor CP Radhakrishnan, with Hemant Soren present. (PTI)
Champai Soren (right) tenders his resignation as chief minister to governor CP Radhakrishnan, with Hemant Soren present. (PTI)

Champai, who took over as the chief minister on February 2, reached Raj Bhavan in the evening along with Soren andfive coalition leaders to tender his resignation to governor CP Radhakrishnan.

“I have resigned on my own. This is a decision of our alliance, which is very strong. Earlier, the alliance had given me the responsibility in special political circumstances. Everyone knows what happened to Hemant babu. Now he is back. The alliance today decided unanimously to choose him as our leader. I am giving back the responsibility that was given to me,” Champai said.

Soren immediately staked claim to form the government after Champai’s resignation. “The chief minister has already said what needs to be said. You will be informed about future developments,” he said. JMM general secretary and spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya said Soren was likely to take oath on July 7.

Read Here: Hemant Soren declares ‘rebellion’ against BJP: ‘We will drive out feudal forces’

Soren resigned from the chief minister’s post on January 31, and was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate hours later on money laundering charges in connection with an alleged land racket in the state capital. Champai, a trusted Soren aide and sitting minister at the time, was elected as the ruling coalition’s leader on the same day. Soren, who has denied all charges, walked out of jail last Friday after the Jharkhand high court granted him bail.

In a statement, the Raj Bhavan said the governor has asked Champai to continue as the CM till an “alternate arrangement is put in place”.

“Chief minister Champai Soren met governor CP Radhakrishnan and tendered his resignation. The governor has asked him to hold his post till an alternate arrangement is put in place. Following it, former CM Hemant Soren along with leaders of JMM, Congress, RJD (Rashtriya Janata Dal), Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) Liberation and other legislators met and staked claim to form the next government. He (Soren) has also submitted a list of MLAs supporting him,” the statement said.

Earlier in the day, legislators from the state’s ruling alliance met at Soren’s residence and elected him as their leader. “A decision was taken in the meeting to make Hemant Soren as the chief minister of the state again,” a JMM leader aware of the details said on condition of anonymity.

Soren’s return to the state’s helm is likely to provide impetus to the JMM-led alliance ahead of this year’s state elections, party leaders said.

Read Here: Hemant Soren set to return as chief minister of Jharkhand

“He is the tallest leader in the state and people know how he was sent to jail in fabricated case. BJP will be reduced to single digit in the assembly elections,” party spokesperson Manoj Pandey said.

The ruling grand alliance won 47 of the total 81 seats in the state in the 2019 assembly polls and the BJP managed to bag 25. The coalition swept the tribal seats in the elections, winning 26 of the 28 ST-reserved constituencies, while the BJP won the remaining two seats, down from the 11 it won in 2014. In the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won eight of the state’s 14 parliamentary seats, the JMM three, and the Congress two.

The BJP mounted an attack on the JMM over Soren’s likely return as chief minister for the third time, accusing the party of indulging in dynastic politics. Soren is the son of JMM president and former CM Shibu Soren

“The Champai Soren era is over in Jharkhand. In the family-oriented party, people outside the family have no political future,” BJP MP from Dodda in Jharkhand Nishkant Dubey said.

State BJP chief Babulal Marandi said there was no space for tribal leaders outside the Shibu Soren family to excel in JMM. “The incident is a lesson for tribal leaders in the JMM. They need to know their boundary. They are meant to only carry the burden of the Shibu Soren family,” he said.

The JMM rejected the allegations, with Pandey accusing the BJP of instead being anti-tribal.

Meanwhile, people aware of the matter said that the ED was likely to challenge the bail given to Soren in the alleged land racket. The caseoriginated with the arrest of Bhanu Pratap Prasad, a land revenue sub-inspector of Bargain circle area in the state capital, in 2023. Prasad was allegedly part of a land-grab syndicate that falsified original land records. Several original land records were recovered from Prasad, along with an image on his phone showing an 8.86-acre land parcel allegedly in Soren’s illegal possession.

The agency served 10 summons to Soren between August 14, 2023 to January 31, 2024 in the case. Soren failed to respond to eight out of 10 summonses before he agreed to record his statement at his official residence on January 20.

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