One has to face consequences for mistakes: Jharkhand Governor on CM’s mining lease case

C.P. Radhakrishnan termed criminal activities from prisons and the killing of security personnel by communist ultras as "worrisome" and "painful".

October 01, 2023 03:32 pm | Updated 03:32 pm IST - Ranchi

Jharkhand Governor C.P. Radhakrishnan. File

Jharkhand Governor C.P. Radhakrishnan. File

Jharkhand Governor C P Radhakrishnan on October 1 said one has to face consequences for one’s actions, referring to the mining lease case involving Chief Minister Hemant Soren.

In an interview to PTI, Mr. Radhakrishnan also stressed on the need for stern action against organised crime and Maoists in the state, expressing strong displeasure over the manner in which criminal gangs were “operating from jail” and security personnel were being killed by red rebels.

He termed criminal activities from prisons and the killing of security personnel by communist ultras as "worrisome" and "painful".

The Governor asserted in his interview that "one should be ready to face the consequences for their actions", stating that "sensational issues cannot be addressed in haste" while talking about the illegal mining case involving Chief Minister Hemant Soren.

A controversy broke out over Chief Minister Hemant Soren allegedly misusing his power to allot a stone mining lease to himself.

BJP leader Raghubar Das accused Soren of wrongdoing last year and sought his removal under Article 192 of the Constitution. The matter which was raised through a formal complaint by the state BJP unit was referred by the then Governor Ramesh Bais to the Election Commission.

The courts of law are also hearing cases connected to the allegations, while a money laundering probe has also been launched by the Enforcement directorate against the chief minister.

"We don't want to do anything which will unnecessarily create political turmoil in the state and harm its development. For any mistake made by anyone, they have to face the consequences of it. Even if I do a mistake, I have to face the consequences of it," the Governor said.

Following the petition by the BJP seeking Soren's disqualification from the assembly, the Election Commission is believed to have sent its decision to Governor Bais on August 25, 2022.

"It (EC mandate) was received by my predecessor (Bais) in a sealed cover. I have not gone through it. ...I will look into it at an appropriate time....Very sensational issues cannot be addressed in haste. You have to go through it properly, and thoroughly and have to take the advice of constitutional experts. I don't want to take any action that will be questioned. I don't want to set a bad precedent," the governor said.

He also clarified that “informal consultations are going on with experts and that cannot be made public now...I never do anything just for publicity."

Denying allegations of a partisan role, Radhakrishnan also said that as a custodian of the Constitution he cannot breach the guidelines for a 50 per cent cap on quota by the Supreme Court to sign a bill proposing 77 per cent reservation in jobs to SC/ST, OBC and economically weaker sections in Jharkhand.

"I am not against the reservation at all … (but) There are guidelines from the highest judicial authority, the Supreme Court, that any reservation should not be more than 50 per cent. But the bill that has come to me seeks 77 per cent reservation.

"If I approve it then what is the meaning of the custodian of the Constitution? Who is doing the politics you can understand," the governor said.

The Jharkhand Reservation of Vacancies in Posts and Services (Amendment) Bill, 2022, passed by the state assembly in November 2022, proposed to increase reservations for the ST, SCs, OBCs and others in the state government jobs to 77 per cent. A Supreme Court verdict puts a cap on reservation at 50%.

He also said, "We have to take strong action against organised crime and criminals. Somebody is operating from jail, and someone is from foreign (soil). Either people (Government) will have to address or we will request them to address. We will make them address (the issue)".

He also underlined the need to take strong action against Maoists.

“You (state government) do combing operation and use intelligence inputs. If you want, I will get all the information from the central intelligence so that we can crush this red terrorism in Jharkhand. Already we lost three personnel after I took over...This is very painful and worrisome," the Governor said.

Mr. Radhakrishnan said the CM has “very categorically said he has given total freedom to the police force to take any action” He pointed out that nearly 22 out of 24 districts were free of Maoists. However, Radhakrishnan said he was worried as the ultras were coming out from their "dens and seeking ranso".

"Even in Ranchi, one shopkeeper was shot. That kind of act generates fear in the mind of others," he said. On allegations that Raj Bhavan is scuttling the bills, the Governor said it is “not correct to say that Raj Bhavan is creating obstacles to the bills".

The Governor also claimed that most of the files are cleared on the same day they are received by the Raj Bhavan, with "only those remaining where there are any discrepancies".

"I am working for the best interest of the people of Jharkhand. Some individuals may not enjoy the action if someone wants to correct wrong practices, pushing for a fair and transparent system. I attempt to help people in genuine matters and ask officials to implement the welfare schemes made for the community," he said.

The Governor said his doors were open for all without any discrimination based on party, ideology, religion and language.

Leaders from the BJP, Congress and the JMM and other political parties and non-political groups "come to me and share their demands. I act in favour of the people of Jharkhand without considering which party gets the benefit," he said.

"The people of Jharkhand are richest by heart. They are transparent. There is no hypocrisy. Jharkhand is the richest state in the country as far as the mineral resources are concerned. We have to exploit mineral resources for the poor people," he said.

The Governor emphasised that illegal mining needs to be stopped and the revenue from the sector should come first to the state exchequer and then the state can plan the roadmap of expenditure, including health, housing and education.

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