All eyes on governor in Jharkhand CM Soren's disqualification case
Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais will likely ask Chief Minister Hemant Soren to resign from the post following the disqualification notice sent by the Election Commission of India (ECI), as per reports. The ECI reportedly informed Bais that Soren should be "disqualified" for violating various election regulations while holding the office of profit. Now, all eyes are on the Governor over the issue.
- Soren is battling corruption charges in the mining lease case for quite some time now since former CM Raghubar Das raised the matter in February this year.
- The governor's call on ECI's recommendation could have serious political ramifications for the incumbent United Progressive Alliance (UPA).
- Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court restrained Jharkhand High Court from proceeding with PILs seeking investigation into the matter.
According to NDTV, the Governor is reviewing ECI's decision on Soren's disqualification and will make a decision soon. The formal statement from Raj Bhavan will necessitate his resignation. However, if the UPA lawmakers re-elect him as their leader, he can be re-elected in six months and remain as chief minister. Meanwhile, he is currently consulting with constitutional experts on his next steps.
Meanwhile, Governor Bais said that he would comment on the issue once he is back from AIIMS New Delhi. "I will be in a position to tell about any such decision when I reach Raj Bhavan," he had said on Thursday.
Meanwhile, following the Governor's direction, Soren summoned a meeting of its alliance partners from the UPA on Friday. Congress Jharkhand legislator Purnima Niraj Singh told PTI that the Jharkhand Congress MLAs were asked to be available in Ranchi keeping in mind the recent political developments and speculations. Experts believe it will increase confidence despite the escalating political instability.
Soren was accused by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of granting a mining lease to himself. The party also called for new elections and demanded the CM's resignation "on moral grounds." "Hemant Soren should head towards mid-term polls, on moral grounds," said BJP MP Nishikant Dubey. "Assembly should be dissolved and there should be elections in all 81 assembly constituencies," he said.
The incumbent alliance enjoys a comfortable majority against the required 41 seats in the 81-member House. With 30 members, the JMM is the single largest party, while its allies — Congress and RJD, have 18 and one legislators, respectively. On the other hand, BJP has 25 MLAs.