Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais is likely to take a call on Saturday on the Election Commission’s view on the disqualification of Chief Minister Hemant Soren as an MLA amid the rapidly changing political scenario in the state, according to sources.
The ECI has sent its opinion in a sealed cover to the Governor on a petition seeking that Soren be disqualified as an MLA for “violating electoral norms" by extending a mining lease to himself. The BJP, which is the petitioner, has sought Soren’s disqualification for violating Section 9(A) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which deals with disqualification for government contracts.
Meanwhile, Soren has claimed that “satanic forces" were attempting to destabilise his democratically-elected government and asserted that he will fight “till the last drop of his blood".
Addressing an event in Latehar, he said that he was not worried as he was given the mandate to govern the state by the people and not his opponents. “Not able to compete with us politically, our opponents are misusing the constitutional institutions. They are using ED, CBI, Lokpal, and Income Tax Department to destabilise our government. But we are not worried about it. We have been given this mandate not by the opponents but by the people," he said, adding, “I am the son of a tribal and fear is not there in a tribal’s DNA. I will be fighting till the last drop of blood in my body."
Claiming that a “gang of outside forces" was active in Jharkhand, he said, “This gang had worked to destroy the state for the last 20 years. When they were dethroned in 2019, the conspirators could not tolerate it. If we stay here, they are going to have a difficult time ahead."
“We are not power hungry. We are here under a constitutional system just to work for the welfare of the people. Did anyone ever think that every old, widow and single woman will get pension? This was made possible by your son with your blessings," he added.
The ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), as part of the UPA alliance, exuded confidence that Soren will remain as the Chief Minister till 2024 and it will move to the Supreme Court if Soren is disqualified as an MLA.
The UPA alliance has 49 MLAs in the 81-member assembly. Within the United Progressive Alliance, JMM as the largest party has 30 MLAs, the Congress 18 legislators, and the RJD one. The main opposition BJP has 26 MLAs in the House. The coalition partners, meanwhile, claimed that there was no threat to the government.
(with inputs from PTI)