Jharkhand: Ruling alliance MLAs likely to be shifted to Raipur
There has been much political uncertainty following the Election Commission of India (ECI)’s ostensible recommendation for chief minister Hemant Soren’s disqualification
Jharkhand’s ruling alliance lawmakers were likely to be shifted to Raipur in Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh on Tuesday amid political uncertainty following the Election Commission of India (ECI)’s ostensible recommendation for chief minister Hemant Soren’s disqualification as an assembly member.
People aware of the matter said a few senior lawmakers were likely to stay back while the rest were expected to leave for Raipur around 4pm and lodged at a resort on the outskirts of Raipur. Preparations were on to host the lawmakers at the resort, said a Chhattisgarh government official.
Soren has sought to send out a message that the ruling alliance of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Congress, and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) was intact since the uncertainty over his fate began on Saturday. He took a boat ride with lawmakers at the Latratu dam in Khunti district amid speculation that the legislators were being sent to a “friendly state” with a non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.
Soren has held back-to-back meetings with the legislators after ECI sent a report ostensibly recommending his disqualification to governor Ramesh Bais, who is yet to make his decision public.
The ruling coalition has 49 lawmakers in the 81-member assembly. The JMM has 30 members, the Congress 18, and the RJD one. The main opposition BJP, which has 26 lawmakers, has been accused of trying to pull down the government.
There were reports over the weekend that the ruling coalition was shifting its legislators either to West Bengal or Chhattisgarh.
Soren faces disqualification under the Representation of the People’s Act on an “office of profit” complaint that accused him of holding a mining lease over a plot of land near Ranchi. The BJP sought Soren’s disqualification for violating Section 9 (A) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which deals with disqualification for government contracts.
Soren’s office has accused the BJP of blatantly misusing constitutional authorities and said it seems the party’s leaders and puppet journalists have drafted the ECI report, which was otherwise in a sealed cover.