Brother's Death, Dad's Conviction: How Hemant Soren Went on to Become Jharkhand's Fifth CM
Hemant Soren, his father Shibu Soren along with other family members as they flash victory sign after JMM's win in Jharkhand polls (Special arrangement)
Ranchi: JMM leader Hemant Soren, the son of Jharkhand architect Shibu Soren, is set to take up the reins of the state for a second term as the opposition coalition comprising the party, Congress and RJD is surging ahead of the BJP in the 81-member seats in the Assembly.
His first stint as chief minister of the tribal state had lasted for just about 14 months since July 15 2013. But this time, he with support from his allies — the Congress and the RJD have stopped the seemingly invincible BJP.
Hemant Soren had been the face of the opposition alliance in the state. He was born to Shibu Soren, known as 'Guruji' to his innumerable followers, and his wife Roopi on August 10, 1975 at Nemra village in Ramgarh district of Jharkhand.
The senior Soren, served as chief minister thrice, had been grooming his elder son Durga Soren but fate had deemed otherwise. Durga Soren died of suspected kidney failure and Shibu Soren was convicted in the Chirrudih massacre case. The situation turned the focus on Hemant Soren who was then entrusted with the responsibility of running JMM.
It was only after Guruji quit the Manmohan Singh cabinet owing to his court conviction, Hemant Soren emerged as heir apparent of the 'Soren clan' and won the Dumka Assembly seat in 2009. He went on to become a Rajya Sabha Member in 2009-2010, before becoming Jharkhand's youngest chief minister in 2013 with the support of the Congress and the RJD.
His rule was, however, short-lived as BJP seized power in 2014 in the politically unstable state and Raghubar Das took over. In 2014, Hemant Soren won a seat in the Jharkhand assembly and became the leader of the opposition.
During his political ascendency he was able to sideline JMM's senior leaders like Stephen Marandi, Simon Marandi and Hemlal Murmu, prompting them to quit the party. While Murmu and Simon Marandi joined the BJP, Stephen Marandi floated a party along with the first BJP chief minister of the state, Babulal Marandi.
Stephen Marandi had later returned to JMM, accepting Hemant Soren as the party's leader. Cornered in the last five years with the saffron party accusing him and his family of violating the Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act, Hemant Soren took time but patiently overcame the storm and formed the pre-poll alliance with old friends — the Congress and RJD.
He also managed to get the lion's share of 43 seats, giving 31 to Congress and seven to the RJD in the pre-poll seat pact, even as the Lalu Prasad-led party was left frowning.
Hemant Soren, who has two sons from his marriage with Kalpana, came under severe criticism from the BJP which accused him of "pariwarvad" for giving a JMM ticket to his sister, Anjali, from Odisha's Mayurbhanj seat in the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year.
(With PTI inputs)