Hemant Soren wants to anoint wife for CM post before going to jail, claims Babulal Marandi

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Jharkhand Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Babulal Marandi. File
| Photo Credit: ANI

Jharkhand BJP president Babulal Marandi on Thursday expressed his apprehension of Chief Minister Hemant Soren repeating the Bihar episode in which Lalu Prasad had anointed his wife Rabri Devi as Chief Minister before going to jail after being convicted in the fodder scam case in 1997.

Mr. Marandi has also written a letter to the Jharkhand Governor not to allow any non-member of the Assembly to take the post of Chief Minister. While speaking to the media, Mr. Marandi also sought the clarification on Sarfaraz Ahmed tendering his resignation from his Gandey Assembly seat. He felt that the resignation had been accepted by the Speaker to give a clear passage to someone who could contest election from the vacant seat and occupy the top post.

“I have written a letter to the Governor urging him not to allow any non-member of the Assembly to become the Chief Minister. Sarfaraz Ahmed resigned from Gandey seat and it was immediately accepted by the Speaker. It is obvious that I would like to know why he resigned. He is not sick neither he is going anywhere, he is perfectly healthy, so what could be the possible reasons behind his resignation? It is clear that Hemant Soren wants to repeat the Bihar episode in which Lalu Prasad had anointed his wife Rabri Devi as Chief Minister,” Mr. Marandi said.

The BJP leader said, “The Chief Minister is running away from the Enforcement Directorate [ED] because he has skipped seven summonses. He is well aware that sooner or later, he will be put behind bars. So he wants to keep the power with him and for that reason the seat has been vacant so that someone can contest the election and win so that he can keep calling the shots in Jharkhand.”

The ED on last Saturday issued seventh summons to Mr. Soren for questioning in connection with an alleged land scam case. The ED in the letter had stated that he can decide the place and timing to record the statement. The deadline to record the statement will be over on Friday. The agency has issued the notice to Mr. Soren for questioning in the land scam case of the Badgai area of Ranchi. Despite seven summonses sent by the ED so far, Mr. Soren has not appeared even once.

Facing the possible arrest in the case, Mr. Soren had called the meeting of all legislators of the ruling party on Wednesday in which the MLAs unanimously echoed that Mr. Soren will remain the Chief Minister and will also complete his five-year term.

‘Constitutional crisis’

In the letter written to Governor C.P. Radhakrishnan, Mr. Marandi has mentioned that the recent development in the State would lead to a constitutional crisis.

“The present Chief Minister may resign and a non-MLA shall be elected as leader of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha legislature party and leader of the alliance. He/she shall present his claim to form the government and the same non-MLA becomes the Chief Minister which would be an unconstitutional and unlawful claim. Any person who is non-MLA cannot subscribe to the oath of Chief Minister since the same would be antithesis to the provisions of the Constitution and the set-up would be completely undemocratic. Humble request not to accede to any such request which is in violation of the provisions of the Constitution,” Mr. Marandi wrote in the letter.

As per Supreme Court ruling, Mr. Soren’s wife Kalpana Soren cannot contest the election from the Barhait Assembly seat being reserved for the tribal and presently represented by Mr. Soren. Ms. Soren is tribal from Odisha and as per Supreme Court ruling SC/ST members from other States cannot claim quota in another State. However, she can contest from a general seat like Gandey.

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