RANCHI: Former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren's wife Kalpana Soren, on the occasion of their 18th wedding anniversary on Wednesday, asserted that she is the life partner of a warrior and will always be his strength.
She said her husband is not with the family on their wedding anniversary but she will not be emotional as he will "defeat conspiracy and emerge as a winner".
"Hemant ji did not accept to bow down, to protect the identity and existence of Jharkhand. He chose to dedicate himself and fight the conspiracy. Today is our 18th wedding anniversary but Hemant ji is not among the family or children. We believe that he will defeat this conspiracy and emerge as a winner and join us soon. I am the life partner of a brave Jharkhand warrior. I will not be emotional today. Like Hemant ji, I will smile even in difficult circumstances and become his strength of courage and struggle," Kalpana Soren posted on X.
After the ruling JMM-led alliance proved its majority on February 5 and her husband made a fiery speech in the Jharkhand Assembly, Kalpana Soren had taken to X to announce that the "fight against injustice and oppression will continue".
Kalpana Soren, who was previously considered a frontrunner for the position of chief minister but faced opposition from Sita Soren, the elder daughter-in-law of Shibu Soren, had said, "I have fought, and I will continue to fight! We have won, and we will win!"
She had posted, "Until Jharkhand warrior (Hemant Soren) defeats the conspiracy of the Centre and the BJP and joins us, I will manage his account. Our brave forefathers fought against injustice and oppression, and now the time has come again. May your love and blessings remain the same."
The JMM-led coalition government led by Chief Minister Champai Soren comfortably won the vote of confidence on Monday with 47 MLAs voting in favour and 29 legislators opposing it in the 81-member assembly.
Independent legislator Saryu Roy abstained from the trust vote.
Kalpana Soren, a homemaker with MTech and MBA qualifications, completed her school education in Baripada in Odisha's Mayurbhanj district and obtained her engineering and MBA degrees from separate institutions in Bhubaneswar.
Shortly after the JMM-led alliance won the confidence motion, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi met Kalpana Soren at her residence.
Congress general secretary (in-charge communications) Jairam Ramesh also shared a picture of Gandhi with Kalpana Soren.
Speaking in the House ahead of the trust vote, Hemant Soren had said, "January 31 was a black chapter in India's history. A chief minister was arrested at the behest of the Raj Bhavan. The BJP doesn't want a tribal CM to complete 5 years in Jharkhand; they did not allow this even in their regimes."
"However, I will not shed tears now. I will give a befitting reply to the feudal forces at an appropriate time," he added.
Earlier on Monday, Hemant Soren challenged the BJP to prove corruption charges against him, stating that if the accusations are proven, he will quit politics.
During the confidence motion moved by his successor Champai Soren in the assembly, the JMM executive president also alleged that the Raj Bhavan was instrumental in his arrest after a "conspiracy" was hatched by the Centre.
Hemant Soren was remanded to five days' ED custody by a special PMLA court in Ranchi on Friday in connection with a money laundering case.
Hemant Soren was arrested after he resigned as the chief minister on January 31, sparking speculation that Kalpana would take over.
However, a rift emerged in his family, with his sister-in-law and JMM MLA Sita Soren openly opposing any move to make Kalpana the chief minister.
The objection came amid rumours and BJP's claim that Kalpana Soren would be the first choice for the chief minister's post if her husband was arrested.
Kalpana Soren was also present at a meeting of ruling alliance legislators at the CM's residence last Tuesday.
Sita Soren, the widow of former chief minister Shibu Soren's elder son Durga, had said, "I would like to ask why only Kalpana Soren, who is not even an MLA and has no political experience under what circumstances is her name being touted as the next chief minister when there are so many senior leaders in the party."
"I will strongly protest any move to make her CM," said Sita, who has been an MLA for nearly 14 years.
"There are several senior leaders who could be given the reins of the party. If they want to elect from a family, I am the senior-most in the House and have been an MLA for around 14 years," she added.
Last month, Hemant Soren dismissed speculations of his wife contesting from the Gandey assembly constituency and called it a "complete imagination" of the BJP.
"The possibility of my wife contesting in the near future is a complete imagination of the BJP. The speculation about handing over the reins to her is a fabric woven by the BJP to build a false narrative," he had said.
The speculations were triggered by the sudden resignation of ruling JMM's Gandey MLA Sarfaraz Ahmad in December.
The opposition BJP claimed that Ahmad was made to quit so that Hemant Soren's wife could contest from Gandey in case of any eventuality related to the ED summonses.