Political turmoil in Jharkhand deepened on Saturday amid threats to Chief Minister Hemant Soren to be “disqualified” as an MLA in the mining lease case, even as the Congress called an emergency meeting to address the political developments of the past few days. In view of the demand for discussion. ,
In a dramatic turn of events, amid fears of poaching by the main opposition BJP, Soren and the ruling JMM-Congress-RJD MLAs left on three buses and stayed at a guest house near Latratu Dam in Khunti district. According to Raj Bhavan sources, Governor Ramesh Bais has sent the order of disqualification of Soren as MLA to the Governor. Election India Commission. On 25 August, the Election Commission sent its opinion on a petition to Bais, seeking that Soren be disqualified as an MLA for violating electoral norms by extending a mining lease.
Here are all the work and latest updates on the Jharkhand crisis, which may decide Soren’s fate as chief minister:
- Legislators of the ruling JMM-led coalition posed for a pristine picture of them enjoying a boat ride and shared their bus journey to a picturesque Latratu dam in the state’s Khunti district. Chief Minister Hemant Soren and the MLAs moved out of state capital Ranchi in three buses amid heavy security, even as fears of poaching by the main opposition BJP grew.
- After returning from Khunti to the state capital Ranchi, Congress held a meeting of the legislature party. The grand old party is an important ally of the JMM-led coalition government and has gathered to discuss the political developments of the past few days, aiming to reach a conclusion. “A conspiracy was hatched to destabilize our state government. The elected government is being destabilized across the country. Now, it has become a norm. Congress stands firmly against it and there is no crisis in the government,” said minister Banna Gupta after the legislative party meeting.
- The decision to move out of the state capital came after the third round of meeting between the ruling coalition legislators at the chief minister’s residence to work out a strategy to deal with the emerging scenario. The MLAs attended the meeting with their belongings. Congress insiders said ring fencing of legislators by park them at a resort in a “friendly state” like West Bengal, Bihar or Chhattisgarh was being considered as an option to curb poaching.
- There is no update on whether Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais sent an order for Soren’s disqualification as an MLA to the Election Commission on Saturday. But, Raj Bhavan sources earlier said, “The governor will sign the disqualification order today and it will be sent to the ECI.” Sources in the governor’s official residence had claimed that the Election Commission had recommended Soren’s disqualification as an MLA for violating electoral norms by giving himself a mining lease, but there is no official confirmation yet.
- On Friday, Soren slammed all constitutional agencies for “wasting” the Center in order to “destabilize a democratically elected government”. The working president of JMM said that “satanic forces” are ready to carry out evil designs. He later tweeted, “When I asked for a valid Rs 1.36 lakh crore dues to the state, the Center removed all agencies on me. When they see that they cannot harm me, they are trying to harass ‘Guruji’ (Shibu Soren), who is in a certain age group, to get me.
- Jharkhand Rural Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Alamgir Alam also said that the ruling coalition’s MLAs cannot be poached. Another minister, Mithilesh Thakur, claimed that the ruling coalition has a “magic number of 50 MLAs, which can go up to 56” while adding that they have learned “resort politics” from the saffron party.
- The BJP is the petitioner in the matter and has sought Soren’s disqualification for violating Section 9A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which deals with disqualification for government contracts. The clause states that “a person shall be disqualified, and so long as he has, in the course of his trade or business, entered into a contract with the appropriate Government for the supply of goods or for the performance thereof.” any act done by that Government”.
- Meanwhile, the JMM is confident that Soren will remain the CM for a full term till 2024. It is the single largest party and has 30 MLAs, of which Congress 18 and RJD one. The main opposition BJP has 26 MLAs in the house. Coalition allies have also claimed that there is no threat to the government. The party also demanded legal action against BJP leaders for disclosing an alleged official decision despite no confirmation from the Election Commission or Raj Bhavan. In fact, the Congress said it would welcome the Election Commission’s decision on a petition seeking Soren’s disqualification as an MLA, while accusing the BJP of trying to destabilize the state government from day one.
(with PTI inputs)