Jharkhand: Hemant Soren meets ruling camp MLAs, Cong leader says govt in majority
Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren chaired a meeting of MLAs belonging to ruling alliance at his residence in Ranchi on Saturday. Following the meeting, Congress leader and Jharkhand minister Banna Gupta said the coalition government of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal (R)is in majority and will continue to work the same way.
He said there was no discussion in the meeting about change of guard, adding talks were held on the development of the state.
“Our government is in majority and will continue like this. The meeting was regarding the development of the state. No discussion happened on the change of leadership,” Gupta was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The meeting took place days after the Supreme Court restrained the Jharkhand high court from proceeding with PILs seeking a probe against Soren who has been accused of granting himself a mining lease as the state’s mining minister.
BJP national vice president and former Jharkhand chief minister Raghubar Das had in February this year said Soren abused his position and granted himself the favour of a mining lease, an issue involving both the conflict of interest and corruption. He also raised allegtaions of Soren violating provisions of the Representation of People Act.
Soon after, the Election Commission of India (ECI) sent a notice to Soren in May seeking his version on the mining lease issued in his favour when he holds the Mining and Environment portfolios.
Owning a lease violates Section 9A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which deals with Disqualification for Government contracts, etc, EC sources had said. The issue is still pending with the EC.
Meanwhile, three MLAs from the state, who were arrested with a huge amount of cash in Bengal, were granted interim bail by the Calcutta high court earlier in the day. The Congress had suspended the three MLAs from the party amid allegations that they were on their way to Guwahati to meet senior BJP leader and Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to topple Soren’s government in Jharkhand.