Hemant Soren meets MLAs of Jharkhand's ruling alliance

Aug 21, 2022 12:04 AM IST

Soren, who leads an alliance government of his party Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal, has been in the dock over corruption charges in recent days.

RANCHI: Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, who is battling corruption charges, held a meeting of ruling alliance legislators on Saturday at his official residence, and discussed ways to address their grievances.

Jharkhand chief minister and senior leader of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha Hemant Soren (PTI)
Jharkhand chief minister and senior leader of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha Hemant Soren (PTI)

Soren leads an alliance government of his party Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal in Jharkhand, while the Bharatiya Janata Party is the principal opposition.

Soren cautioned lawmakers against alleged attempts by the opposition to destabilise the state government and underlined the need for the alliance to stay together, besides discussing issues related to the impending drought in the state and improvement in health care services, according to MLAs who attended the meeting.

“The chief minister established a direct communication with the legislators of the ruling alliance, taking feedback on welfare schemes in the state and seeking suggestions on how to improve them. Besides, the issue of the opposition attempting to destabilise the state government was also discussed in the meeting,” said Congress legislator Pradeep Yadav.

Although the ruling alliance is united in facing the challenge from the opposition, the chief minister will be issuing a direct number to address grievances of the legislators,” said Amba Prasad, another Congress legislator.

“The chief minister would be issuing a direct WhatsApp number for the MLAs. They can directly post their grievances on it. Timebound action would be taken,” Prasad said. “The chief minister will also begin a virtual meeting with the legislators meeting ahead of cabinet meetings soon.”

Asked whether any strategy was discussed at the meeting to counter a possible adverse decision by the Election Commission of India (ECI) on the office-of-profit row involving Soren, the legislators replied in the negative.

The Soren government has a comfortable majority against the required 41 in the 81-member House. The JMM is the largest party with 30 members, while the two allies, Congress and RJD, have 18 and 1 legislators, respectively. BJP has 25 MLAs.

“Come what may, Hemant Soren would continue to be the chief minister,” said JMM leader and state education minister Jagarnath Mahto.

Saturday’s party meeting was one of its kind. All legislature party meetings in the past were customarily held just ahead of assembly sessions. The meeting also holds significance in the wake of a developments that could have a direct bearing on the health of the Soren government.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court reserved its order on the petitions of Jharkhand government and Soren, who had challenged the June 3 order of Jharkhand High Court on the maintainability of two separate public interest litigations asking for a probe against the chief minister by central agencies.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission has completed the arguments on an office-of-profit complaint by the BJP against Soren, and the decision on the complaint is expected any day. Any adverse decision could lead to fresh turmoil in the state’s politics.

The meeting was important amid the prevailing political scenario in the state, observers said.

“Some important developments have happened in recent past, including the arrest of three Congress legislators with cash in West Bengal,” said Sudhir Pal, an independent political observer. “Going by the prevailing situation, it’s quite possible that the chief minister was trying to gauge the mood of the legislators and trying to chalk out possible steps to set the course right.”


    Vishal Kant works as an Assistant Editor with Hindustan Times. He tracks developments in Aam Aadmi Party and Delhi government. Vishal has spent about a decade covering the city politics and governance, besides writing on Delhi’s civic issues, urban transport and infrastructure.

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