Soren faces disqualification for holding office of profit, blames BJP

New Delhi/Ranchi: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, who is facing threat of disqualification as an MLA for holding an office of profit, on Thursday blamed the opposition BJP for the controversy as sources indicated that the Election Commission has submitted its report to Governor Ramesh Bais.

Soren said that “it seems BJP leaders and their puppets have drafted the report which is in a sealed cover”. He said that there is no communication to him officially. Sources, however, said that BJP is seeming confident about their petition against him.

The Election Commission has sent a letter to the Governor on the issue of the Assembly membership of Soren as former Chief Minister Raghubar Das and the BJP sought his disqualification.

Accusing Soren of extending a mining lease to himself, they termed it as a violation of office of profit and Representation of the People’s Act and wrote to the Governor on the issue.

With the issuance of the Governor’s order on the poll panel’s recommendations, Soren’s Assembly membership could end, and in such a situation, he may have to resign as Chief Minister. However, the JMM-Congress alliance, led by Soren, has a majority in the Assembly, and after his resignation, he can again stake a claim to form the government in the state.

It was not clear whether Soren has also been disqualified from contesting elections.

The Governor, who is currently in Delhi, will reach Ranchi later in the day, and an announcement is expected after that.

The lease of a stone quarry in Angada block in Ranchi was issued in the name of Soren but he had surrendered it later. However, on the BJP’s complaint, the EC conducted hearing in the matter and reserved its decision on August 18.

In 2019, Soren was elected MLA from Dumka and Barhait Assembly constituencies. Later, he resigned from the Dumka and his brother Basant Soren won the bypoll.

However, Basant Soren is also accused of taking a mine’s lease while being an MLA and the poll panel has fixed the matter for hearing on August 28. As Basant Soren’s case is similar to Hemant Soren’s, he is also likely to lose his membership.


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