GARHWA: Jharkhand Chief Minister Champai Soren on Saturday alleged that the BJP had been "attempting to topple" the Hemant Soren government ever since it came to power in the state in 2019.
He claimed that when the opposition party in the state failed in its attempts, it used central agencies to put Hemant Soren in jail.
Addressing a public gathering in Palamu after laying the foundation of an irrigation project, the CM said, "The previous double-engine government had no democratic values.
This could be understood from the case of former chief minister Hemant Soren. They (BJP) made attempts to topple the Hemant Soren government ever since it came to power in 2019. When they failed, they used the ED and put the former CM in jail."
He claimed that not only Jharkhand but also all non-BJP-ruled states are facing similar problems.
Later, in another programme at Dumro Ground in Garhwa district, the chief minister claimed that Hemant Soren had been arrested but his name is not in any document (related to the alleged land scam).
Forty-eight-year-old Hemant Soren was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on January 31 on money laundering charges in an alleged illegal land acquisition and possession case.
He resigned as the Jharkhand CM before he was formally arrested that day.
He is in the ED custody at present.
Champai Soren said, "This (Hemant Soren arrest) was done on direction from the BJP. People are raising questions against central agencies.
Had the central agencies worked as independent institutions, people wouldn't have questioned. But if they work as agents of the BJP, people will question for sure."
The CM said Hemant Soren was working to ensure 'roti-kapda-makaan' for tribals but the opposition continued to conspire to destabilise his government.
Taking a dig at the Centre, the CM said the Union government launched Ayushman Bharat Yojana from Jharkhand but people are not getting its benefit.
"Private hospitals have raised their hands saying they are not getting money against the treatment," he claimed.
He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi made "big claims" about Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana but when the Jharkhand government asked for eight lakh houses, it was not sanctioned.
"Then, former chief minister Hemant Soren decided to provide houses to the poor from the state fund and launched Abua Awas Yojana," the CM said.
Responding to the CM's allegation, BJP spokesperson Pratul Shahdeo said Hemant Soren had to "pay for his own misdeed, rampant loot and corruption during his tenure".
"The BJP will always be a watchdog and not allow corruption to take place in the state. Mineral mining, sand mining and land scams ultimately caused the downfall of the Hemant Soren government.
Strangely, Chief Minister Champai Soren, who was a senior minister in the Hemant Soren cabinet, was a mute spectator to the entire loot," Shahdeo alleged.