Hemant Soren: According to sources within the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), 43 MLAs back former Jharkhand Chief Minister Champai Soren, and Jharkhand coalition MLAs are expected to be flown to Hyderabad one day after Soren’s detention. Not long after he quit as chief minister, Hemant Soren was taken into custody. Champai Soren, the state minister of transport and a party supporter, was also appointed as his successor.
FIR Against ED Employees
Hemant Soren filed a First Information Report (FIR) against ED employees earlier on Wednesday in relation to searches the agency carried out at his Delhi home on Monday. Soren said in the FIR that the search was carried out by the investigating agency in order to “harass and malign him and his entire community.”
Champai Soren’s Resignation
Champai Soren announced shortly after his resignation that 47 lawmakers had backed his bid to establish a new Jharkhand government. Later, “We have handed over a support letter from 43 MLAs to the governor who has assured to call us,” stated Parliamentary Affairs Minister Alamgir Alam. According to JMM sources, Champai Soren is now supported by forty-three MLAs.
Additionally, according to sources, five MLAs will stay in Ranchi and handle alliance development strategy instead of travelling to Hyderabad. If the Governor does not allow the alliance MLAs time, the remaining leaders will relocate to Hyderabad.
Hemant Soren’s Court Appearance
Today, Hemant Soren appeared before a Ranchi court under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Due to his lack of cooperation during the questioning, the investigation team is probably going to request that Soren be placed under maximum imprisonment for a period of seven to eight days.
Additionally, the Enforcement Directorate claimed that Soren’s responses were “evasive.” According to sources, the investigation team intends to request that Hemant Soren be placed under remand in light of the documents and other relevant evidence they have obtained that purport to link Soren to the land swindle.
Leadership Contingency Plan
“If I am asked to resign from my post as the legislative party leader, I will choose the new leader,” Hemant Soren wrote in a letter to the MLAs of the Opposition INDIA alliance on Wednesday. Soren stated, “I am going to appear before the Enforcement Directorate for questioning today,” as the letter was being addressed before he was questioned by the agency. Champai Soren will lead the parliamentary party in the event that I am arrested.”
Arrest Amidst Allegations
On Wednesday, Soren submitted his resignation to Governor CP Radhakrishnan at the Raj Bhavan. He was then taken into custody in relation to the money laundering investigation. Before his arrest, in a video message, Soren said, “The ED has come to arrest me today. After questioning me for the entire day, they have decided to arrest me in a planned manner, on an issue that is not linked to me. They (ED) found no evidence, they even tried to tarnish my image by conducting raids in Delhi.”
Champai Soren’s Leadership Consensus
A consensus was achieved on the choice of the transport minister, Champai Soren, to lead the legislative party, according to party spokesperson Vinod Pandey, who announced the MPs’ meeting at Hemant Soren’s home earlier today. Champai Soren, who has served as a member representing the Serikela assembly constituency since 1991, is well-known for being a devoted supporter of Shibu Soren, the father of Hemant Soren and the leader of the JMM.
Judicial Review by Three-Judge Panel
Hemant Soren challenged his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in a Supreme Court case on Thursday. Soren’s appeal will be considered by a three-judge panel led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Friday at the highest court. Several tribal groups called for a Jharkhand bandh on Thursday in protest of Soren’s imprisonment.
Ajay Tirkey, the head of Kendriya Sarna Samiti, told the news agency PTI that 15 to 20 tribal organisations from all over the state will participate in the shutdown. Additionally, Tirkey stated that the shutdown will not affect emergency services. “Despite cooperating with the ED in the investigation, Hemant Soren was arrested. We protest this. We would not disturb schools if they were opened on Thursday,” he said.