Hemant Soren likely to return as Jharkhand CM, say sources

According to sources, Chief Minister Champai Soren is likely to be given new responsibilities as the Chairman of the UPA coordination committee and working president of JMM.
Former Jharkhand chief minister and JMM leader Hemant Soren.
Former Jharkhand chief minister and JMM leader Hemant Soren.File Photo

RANCHI: In a major development, amid the INDIA bloc meeting being held at the Chief Minister’s residence in Ranchi, Hemant Soren is likely to return as the Chief Minister of Jharkhand.

If sources are to be believed, the MLAs of the alliance partners have already reached to a consensus over the change of guard in the state. This is for the third time that Hemant Soren will become the Chief Minister of Jharkhand.

Chief Minister Champai Soren is likely to be given a new responsibility as the Chairman of UPA coordination committee and working president of JMM.

According to sources, INDIA bloc MLAs will meet Governor CP Radhakrishnan once he returns to Ranchi in the evening and Champai Soren will hand over his resignation. Subsequently, Hemant Soren will stake the claim to form the government. Before that, Hemant Soren will be elected as the leader of legislative party of the JMM and the INDI-Alliance.

For the first time since being released from jail on bail in a land scam case, former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has called an all-party meeting of MLAs from alliance partners at his residence on Wednesday.

Previously, Soren held a similar meeting before his arrest in the land scam case, during which he allegedly obtained the signatures of the MLAs on a letter of support for making Kalpana Soren the next Chief Minister of Jharkhand. Given the current political scenario following Soren’s release on bail, similar steps are not being ruled out.

Speculation is rife that there might be a change of guard in the state. This speculation is fueled by the cancellation of Chief Minister Champai Soren's programs in Dumka and Ranchi on July 2 and 3, respectively, due to unspecified reasons. Government sources claim the Dumka program was canceled due to bad weather and concluded in the presence of Hemant Soren’s brother and Minister Basant Soren.

A cabinet expansion was anticipated last week, but it has been shelved following Hemant Soren’s unexpected release. In the meantime, Soren has been very active on social media, proactively attacking the BJP.

On June 25, Congress in-charge Ghulam Ahmed Mir made a sudden visit to Ranchi from Delhi to meet Hemant Soren in jail. During the visit, Hemant Soren's wife and Gandey MLA, Kalpana Soren, was also present. Neither Congress nor the JMM has provided a concrete or satisfactory explanation for the meeting, adding to the speculations about a potential change of leadership in the state.

JMM spokesperson Manoj Pandey clarified that the upcoming meeting is in connection with the forthcoming assembly elections. “In the current political scenario, there could be a consultation on the strategy of the JMM and its alliance partners,” said Pandey. He added that Hemant Soren's release after five months necessitates such a meeting.

AICC General Secretary and Jharkhand in-charge Ghulam Ahmed Mir has previously termed Kalpana Soren as “CM material,” suggesting that the BJP will pay a heavy price for its alleged injustices against political leaders and the public. Giridih MLA Sudivya Kumar Sonu, known to be close to Hemant Soren, mentioned during a workers' meeting ahead of the Gandey by-poll that they aim to elect not just an MLA but a leader equivalent to a Chief Minister.

As the political dynamics evolve, all eyes are on Hemant Soren and the decisions that will emerge from this pivotal meeting.

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