RANCHI: Within hours of taking oath as the 11th chief minister of Jharkhand, Hemant Soren got down to business. In its first Cabinet decision, the Soren government announced that all cases registered during the Patthalgadi movement and protests following amendments to the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act, 1908 (CNT Act) and Santhal Paragana Tenancy Act, 1949 (SPT Act) will be withdrawn soon.
Sedition charges were filed against 10,000 villagers from Khunti, Murhu and Arki blocks under Section 124-A of the IPC. The Patthalgadi movement began in 2017-18, when giant stone plaques came up outside villages in Khunti district, declaring the gram sabha as the only sovereign authority.
“The Cabinet has decided to withdraw FIRs lodged against the agitators of Patthalgadi movement and objecting proposed amendments in CNT and SPT Acts,” said Cabinet Secretary Ajoy Kumar Singh.
Coming out of the Cabinet meet, Soren said that all those issues, due to which the people of Jharkhand were troubled, will be reviewed. The Cabinet also gave its nod to the proposal to make changes to the state government’s logo.
Earlier in the day, the 44-year-old tribal leader took oat as the CM in the presence of a galaxy of opposition leaders. The opposition parties took the swearing-in as an opportunity to showcase their strength where leaders of almost every political party in the UPA-fold took part in the event.
Governor Droupadi Murmu administered the oath of office and secrecy to Soren. Among those in attendance were Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, TMC boss and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, her Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh counterparts Ashok Gehlot and Bhupesh Baghel, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, DMK leader M K Stalin, his sister Kanimozhi, and RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav.
Youngest CM ever
Hemant Soren, born at Nemara in Ramgarh to Roopi and Shibu Soren holds the distinction of being the youngest chief minister of the country. He was sworn in as the CM for the first time in July 2013. He was also elected to Rajya Sabha from Jharkhand between 2009 and 2010 and also held the post of deputy CM of Jharkhand between 2009 and 2013. Hemant did his schooling from Patna High School and pursued engineering from BIT Mesra. However, he could not complete his degree due to political disturbances and issues in the family. He is married to Kalpana Soren and has two sons Biswajeet (9) and Nitil (4). Soren loves gadgets and enjoys playing video games. On Sunday, Congress leader Alamgir Alam, Jharkhand PCC president Rameshwar Oraon and RJD MLA Satyanand Bhokta were the other three ministers who took oath after Hemant Soren.