The newly formed Champai Soren government in Jharkhand is set to face a trust vote in the assembly on Monday, following the arrest of his party leader Hemant Soren by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money laundering case. This development comes after a 36-hour political vacuum in the state.
Champai Soren takes oath amidst political upheaval
Champai Soren, a trusted aide of the Soren family, has taken oath as the chief minister, succeeding Hemant Soren. The seven-time MLA, representing the Seraikella constituency, was previously an independent MLA before joining the JMM. The move follows a strategic gathering of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Congress MLAs in Hyderabad, seen as an effort to thwart potential poaching attempts by the BJP.
Why Jharkhand government faces trust vote
Hemant Soren’s abrupt resignation and subsequent arrest by the ED have thrown the Jharkhand government into a state of uncertainty. The charges against the former chief minister revolve around an alleged “racket of illegal change of land ownership by the mafia” in Jharkhand. The ED’s 13-hour search at Soren’s residence resulted in the discovery of Rs 36 lakh in cash, incriminating documents, and the seizure of a luxury SUV.
Hemant Soren’s denial and counter-allegations
Hemant Soren vehemently denied all allegations and lodged an FIR against senior Enforcement Directorate officials, accusing them of harassment and maligning him and his community. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha criticized the ED’s actions, questioning the legitimacy of the cash findings and accusing the central government of engaging in “open hooliganism” through central agencies.
Champai Soren seeks confidence vote
In the wake of these events, Champai Soren is now seeking a vote of confidence in the assembly. This vote holds significant importance as it will determine whether the newly formed government has the majority support of legislators in the state. The decision to shift legislators to Hyderabad was made to prevent potential poaching attempts by the BJP during this critical period.
Numbers game in Jharkhand Assembly
The JMM-led coalition, including Congress and RJD, claims the support of 47 MLAs in the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly. The BJP, with 25 members, and the AJSU party, with three MLAs, pose as the principal opposition. Additionally, the NCP and CPI (ML)L each have one member, alongside three Independents. The JMM-led alliance’s assertion of a strong “gathbandhan” with 43 MLAs and expectations to reach 46-47 further intensifies the political landscape in the state.
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