Soren, Jharkhand chief minister and leader of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM),
faces threat of disqualification from the state’s legislative assembly. Soren,
47, was accused by the opposition BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) of using his
position as Jharkhand’s mining and forest minister to obtain a state mining

Election Commission of India (ECI) has sent its recommendation on the matter to
Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais, the Indian Express reported. However, Jharkhand
Governor Bais said, “I do not know anything as of now about any order for me.”

complaint against Hemant Soren

Members of
the BJP had filed a complaint against Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren with Governor
Ramesh Bais accusing the leader of using his influence as the mining and forest
minister to obtain a stone chips mining license in 2021 flouting the office of
profit rule. Governor Bais had then sought the ECI’s opinion on the allegation.

What is
the ‘Office of Profit’ rule?

The Indian
Constitution does not allow members of Parliament or state legislative
assemblies hold offices of profit during their terms. If a chief minister of a
state is found to be in violation of the ‘office of profit’ rule, will be
disqualified under Section 9A of the Representation of People Act, 1951.

What Soren
has to say:

Minister Hemant Soren has said that he has not received any communication from
the Election Commission of India so far. Lashing out at the opposition, Soren
said it seems as if the BJP has drafted the ECI report. “It seems BJP leaders…puppet
journalists have themselves drafted ECI report, which is otherwise a sealed
cover report…blatant misuse of constitutional authorities, public agencies and
its complete takeover by BJP HQ…is unseen in Indian Democracy,” the CM said.  

opposition’s view

BJP, in
opposition in Jharkhand and in power at the Centre, has called for Hemant Soren
to resign and go for mid-term elections. “Hemant Soren should head towards
mid-term polls, on moral grounds…Assembly should be dissolved and there should
be elections in all 81 assembly constituencies,” said BJP MP from Jharkhand’s
Godda, Nishikant Dubey.

partner’s perspective

Congress, which is a junior alliance partner in the Jharkhand government, said
the alliance has numbers irrespective of the outcome of the current
controversy. “I met the CM, who told me he hasn’t got any communication about
the sealed report. Let the governor decide. We are working on our strategy,”
Congress Legislature Party leader Alamgir Alam told NDTV.

When asked
if Hemant Soren may be replaced as CM, Alam said, “We definitely want Hemant
Soren to remain the chief minister. We have the strength. The government will
remain in place.”

Assembly’s political composition

Jharkhand Assembly has a total of 81 seats. In the 2019 Assembly elections, the
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) won 30 seats, the Indian National Congress (INC)
won 16 seats and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) won one seat.

The three parties
combined to form the government with Hemant Soren as chief minister. The
BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won 25 seats. The other seats went
to smaller players in the tribal state’s polity.