With 47 votes, Champai Soren government wins trust vote in Jharkhand

Former CM Hemant Soren, arrested by ED, says he will quit politics and leave Jharkhand if anyone proved he forged land documents 

February 05, 2024 03:03 pm | Updated February 06, 2024 04:54 pm IST - Ranchi

Jharkhand Chief Minister Champai Soren addresses during a special session of the State assembly convened to seek trust vote of his government, in Ranchi, on February 5, 2024.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Champai Soren addresses during a special session of the State assembly convened to seek trust vote of his government, in Ranchi, on February 5, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

The new Champai Soren government won the trust vote on the floor of the Jharkhand Assembly on Monday. Forty-seven Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)-led alliance legislators voted for the motion and 29 against the motion. Mr. Champai Soren moved the motion on which a debate was held.

During the debate, former Chief Minister Hemant Soren, arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the alleged land scam case, accused the Raj Bhavan of being part of his arrest. He claimed that he will quit politics and leave Jharkhand if anyone proved he forged land documents.

As soon as Mr. Hemant Soren entered the Assembly, the JMM and Congress legislators shouted slogans in his support. They shouted slogans such as Jail Ka Tala Tutega Hemant Soren Chutega (The jail lock will be broken and Hemant Soren will be released).

Editorial | Change in Jharkhand: On political leaders under the ED’s scanner  

“It is probably for the first time a serving Chief Minister or former Chief Minister was arrested at the Raj Bhavan. I feel somewhere even the Raj Bhavan is involved in my arrest,“ said Mr. Hemant Soren.

He alleged that the BJP treated tribals as untouchables and claimed that the party wanted tribals to stay in the jungles only.

“If the BJP thinks that they can suppress my voice by sending me to jail, it’s not going to happen. ED, CBI and IT cannot touch those BJP leaders who have gulped crores of money,” Mr. Hemant Soren said.

He claimed that the BJP did not want a tribal leader to complete five years of his term.

“The history of Jharkhand will never forgive the BJP. Bring a single document which can prove that I have forged 8.5 acres of land. If you can bring it, then I will leave Jharkhand forever. When ED did not get anything from me, they are now checking the bank accounts of my wife. I fear that the way Bandhu Tirkey lost his membership of the Assembly, I may face the same fate,“ said Mr. Hemant Soren.

Before the floor test, Governor C.P. Radhakrishnan addressed the 14th session of the fifth Jharkhand Legislative Assembly by reading out the achievements of the government.

Slams Hemant, Cong.

During the debate, Leader of the Opposition Amar Kumar Bauri slammed Mr. Heman Soren and the Congress. “It’s only because the BJP was in Centre you saved your government. You are talking about ED and CBI; it was the Congress government which sent your father Shibu Soren behind bars. It was the Congress government which sent Madhu Koda behind bars. It was the BJP which made you Deputy Chief Minister for the first time. It was the support of the BJP due to which Shibu Soren became Rajya Sabha member. Stop blaming the BJP for everything. It is unfortunate that the Congress sent your father to jail and you are running the government with their support,” Mr. Bauri said.

At present, the total strength of the Jharkhand Assembly is 81. During the voting, 27 MLAs of JMM, 17 MLAs of the Congress and one each of the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation voted for the motion. The only nominated MLA Glen Joseph Galstaun, who represents the Anglo-Indian community, also voted in favour of the motion, making the total to 47.

Twenty-five MLAs of the BJP, three MLAs of the All Jharkhand Students’ Union (AJSU) and one MLA of the Ajit Pawar faction of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) voted against the motion.

Independent MLA Saryu Roy did not vote. Another Independent MLA Amit Yadav, Indrajit Mahto of the BJP and Ram Das Soren of the JMM were not present in the House.

Speaker Rabindra Nath Mahto made the formal announcement of the Champai Soren government winning the trust vote.

Before leaving the Assembly premises, Mr. Champai Soren said the Cabinet expansion would take place soon.

Correction: The spelling of Bandhu Tirkey was corrected post publication.
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