The vast political drama in Jharkhand started when reports surfaced indicating that the Election Commission (EC) recommended that Chief Minister Hemant Soren be disqualified from the state assembly for violating electoral law by granting himself a mining lease.
Allegations against Hemant Soren
The former chief minister of Jharkhand, Raghubar Das, has complained that Hemant Soren misused his position to allocate a mining plot to himself earlier this year. According to him, the matter was corrupt, and there were conflicts of interest.
A violation of the Representation of People Act was also alleged to have been committed. Shivshankar Sharma has filed two PILs, an RTI activist, demanding an investigation into the mining scandal in Jharkhand by the CBI and the ED. It has also been alleged that Soren had invested in Shell companies. He then received a notice from the Election Commission seeking his response in May.
Under Article 192 of the Indian constitution, the Governor has the final say whenever a question arises regarding a state legislator’s disqualification from serving. Reports indicate that Soren’s team argued that the provisions of the election law he is accused of violating are not applicable in this case.
BJP counsel Kumar Harsh told reporters after the Election Commission hearing on August 12 that they argued for nearly two hours. The opposition replied and showed it was a conflict of interest, and several Supreme Court judgments covered the matter.
After the hearing, Chief Minister Hemant Soren aimed the BJP with all guns blazing, claiming that neither he was scared nor was he planning to give in to his opponents’ “evil” tactics. Moreover, he vowed to fight until the very last drop of blood was lost. CM Soren during his program in Tutuapani, Mahuadand, attacked the BJP and stated that the BJP had been trying to remove him from power for the last five months.
In a statement, CM Soren said that he is a Jharkhandi, a son of a tribal. He further said that no one could break him so easily.
It is rumoured that the poll panel has recommended that the CM be disqualified from being an MLA, even though the EC’s decision has not yet been made official. Although the coalition of JMM, Congress, and RJD has an absolute majority in the House of 81 members, the ruling UPA maintains that Soren’s disqualification will not affect the government.
Soren, meanwhile, told reporters on Sunday evening that the opposition is attempting to conspire against Jharkhand but won’t succeed. Following a letter from the assembly secretariat to MLAs, Soren expressed a willingness to move a motion of confidence.
The Motion of Confidence
The ruling UPA transported its MLAs in Jharkhand last month to the Congress-ruled state of Chhattisgarh amid defection fears. There were concerns within the JMM that the BJP would try to destabilize the UPA government by snagging lawmakers from the ruling coalition. After six days of political drama, the MLAs returned to Ranchi to vote in a confidence vote called by Soren.
Chief minister Hemant Soren tabled a confidence motion on Monday in the Jharkhand Assembly on Monday, claiming that the opposition BJP had tried to poach MLAs. In the assembly session, Soren says that the opposition has destroyed democracy, and the BJP has been horse-trading legislators. He gave a powerful statement when he said that people buy commodities in the market, but the BJP buys legislators.
Due to an office-of-profit case, Soren’s status as chief minister is uncertain following a petition by the BJP. This resulted in Governor Ramesh Bais receiving a communication from the Election Commission (EC) on August 25, causing a political crisis in the state.
On Monday, the Jharkhand Assembly voted in favour of Hemant Soren’s government. There were 48 votes in favour of the motion in the 81-member House, but the Opposition BJP walked out before the vote.
His speech before the motion accused the BJP of conspiring to destabilize governments in states where it is not in power. According to him, the BJP has tried to spark communal issues to win elections by creating a civil war-like scenario between states.
In addition, he said his government strives to uphold the rule of law despite the BJP’s attempts to portray events taking place in the state through the lens of religion. Furthermore, he attacked Governor Ramesh Bais.
Soren attacked the Bais, saying that the Governor reaches Delhi through a backdoor. Our MLAs ask him if he has received any letter, but he does not acknowledge it. He then travels to Delhi to meet his masters.
In a similar move to Maharashtra, Soren’s party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), believes that the BJP might take MLAs from the party to topple the government. It has accused the BJP of engaging in horse trading since the beginning of the crisis. Bais has been accused by UPA constituents of intentionally delaying announcing the decision, thereby encouraging political horse-trading.
After meeting with UPA MLAs on September 1, Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bai visited Delhi, fueling the accusations. According to Raj Bhavan sources, he will return to Jharkhand on Sunday after his ‘personal visit’ for a medical check-up.