Jharkhand braces for political uncertainty; Hemant Soren weighs options

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Amid anticipation that the ED could arrest him, the chief minister has called a legislature party meeting of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and the alliance partners.

Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren

Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren

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By Our Special Correspondent  

New Delhi, January 3: Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday went on an overdrive with several raids across Jharkhand amid reports that the state is heading for another phase of political uncertainty. Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren is also weighing his political options, sensing that he may be arrested by the ED in the ‘Office for Profit’ case.

The ED raided several places in Jharkhand. The ED raided the house of the press secretary of the state chief minister Abhishek Prasad Pintu. The ED called an expert to break the locker at the house of Pintu.

The ED also raised the house of former Jharkhand MLA Rajkishore Prasad alias Pappu Yadav in Deoghar. The ED is also probing the money laundering case in the illegal mining allegations in Jharkhand.

The ED also raided the residences of the state government officials in Sahebganj and Hazaribagh. The ED is tracking for evidences in the money laundering cases. It may be recalled that the ED has served several summons to the state chief minister in the ‘Office for Profit’ and money laundering case.

Amid anticipation that the ED could arrest him, the chief minister has called a legislature party meeting of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and the alliance partners. There is also a possibility that the chief minister may seek an alternative arrangement in case he is arrested by the ED.

But the JMM leaders are also wary of the fact that the party may face desertion in the event Soren installs someone from the family as his replacement in the event he is arrested. It may be recalled that Jharkhand Governor has not yet revealed the Election Commission recommendations in the ‘Office for Profit’ case against the chief minister.

Soren is facing the charge that he had renewed the mining license for himself while holding the charge of the mining ministry. This is seen as a serious charge as it involves conflict of interest.  It may be recalled that Jharkhand had given a split mandate in the 2019 Assembly elections in the state. The JMMP had won a total of 30 Assembly seats followed by the BJP which had won 25 seats. The JMM is dependent on a number of allies for majority in the Assembly which has a strength of 81.

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