The Election Commission (EC) on Monday informed Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren that State Governor Ramesh Bais has not sought a second opinion from it on the issue of the CM’s disqualification, sources said.
The commission has sent a letter to Mr. Soren noting that it has not received any such communication from the Governor, they said.
Reacting to it, Mr. Soren’s office said, “The Chief Minister had been maintaining that a larger political conspiracy was at play to malign the image of the State and create political unrest using constitutional authorities and other pressures.”
It added, “ECI’s letter today justifies his apprehensions.” Mr. Soren has been charging both the BJP and the Centre of misusing constitutional bodies to destabilise a democratically elected government.
The CM had said in Ranchi on Sunday that he, through his counsel, sought a copy from the Election Commission (EC) of Governor Bais's request for a second opinion in a case related to his disqualification as MLA for allegedly leasing a mine to self in violation of election law provisions.
Mr. Soren’s comment had come in the wake of the Governor saying on October 27 that he sought a “second opinion” in the case and claimed that an “atom bomb could explode any time in Jharkhand”, apparently indicating to the pending decision in the matter.
“I have sought from the EC a copy of Governor Ramesh Bais’s request for a second opinion in the office-of-profit case through my counsel,” the Chief Minister had said.
Following a petition by the BJP seeking Mr. Soren's disqualification from the Assembly in the case, the EC had sent its opinion to the Governor on August 25, triggering a political crisis in the State.
Though the EC's decision has not yet been made official, there is a buzz that the poll panel has recommended the Chief Minister's disqualification as an MLA in connection with the mining lease case.