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Champai Soren Quits As Jharkhand Chief Minister, Paves Way For Hemant Soren

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Champai Soren took oath as chief minister in February, after Hemant Soren was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate.Setting the ball rolling for Hemant Soren to take over as the Jharkhand chief minister again, his close aide, Champai Soren, has resigned from the post just five months after taking oath. 

Champai Soren, who is seen as the number three in the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, was sworn in on February 2, two days after then chief minister Hemant Soren was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a land scam. He was released on bail on June 28 by the Jharkhand High Court which noted that there was reason to believe that he was “not guilty of the offence”.

After handing over his resignation to Jharkhand Governor CP Radhakrishnan on Wednesday evening, Champai Soren, who was earlier reported to be upset over being asked to leave the post, said in Hindi, “When the leadership had changed, I was given responsibility. You know the sequence of events. After Hemant Soren came back, we (the coalition) picked him as our leader and I have resigned. I am following the decision taken by the coalition.”

Asked when he would take oath, Hemant Soren, who was standing next to Champai Soren, said more details would be given later. 

Jharkhand is ruled by a coalition consisting of the JMM, Congress, RJD and the CPI (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation.

Earlier on Wednesday, the JMM had elected Hemant Soren as the legislature party leader, paving the way for him to take over as chief minister. The move defied a very strong buzz that Champai Soren would retain the post and Hemant Soren would return as chief minister only after the Jharkhand Assembly elections, due later this year, if the coalition won.

Sources had told NDTV that Champai Soren, who is likely to be named the JMM’s Executive President, was upset at being asked to resign as chief minister and had said at the party meeting that he was feeling insulted.

Leaders of the ruling coalition reached a consensus on Hemant Soren’s return during a meeting at Champai Soren’s residence. Among the attendees were Congress’ Jharkhand in-charge Ghulam Ahmad Mir, state president Rajesh Thakur and Hemant Soren’s wife and MLA Kalpana Soren.

Sources said the decision was taken to ensure that the elections were fought with Hemant Soren as the face of the party. JMM has 27 MLAs in the 81-member Assembly, the Congress has 18 and the RJD and the CPI (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation have one each.

Source: ndtv

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