Hemant Soren returns as Jharkhand CM after spending 5 months in jail

Hemant Soren returns as Jharkhand CM after spending 5 months in jail

Hemant Soren was sworn in as the 13th Chief Minister of Jharkhand following an invitation from the Governor. His return marks a significant political shift amid ongoing legal challenges.


Hemant Soren, the executive president of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), took oath as the 13th Chief Minister of Jharkhand on Thursday evening. The ceremony followed an invitation from Governor CP Radhakrishnan to form the government. Soren, who previously served as Chief Minister, was recently released on bail in a land scam case after spending around five months in jail.

Soren staked his claim to form the government on Wednesday after Champai Soren, who had taken oath as the 12th Chief Minister of Jharkhand on February 2 following Hemant Soren's arrest, resigned. The transition marks a significant political shift in Jharkhand's leadership.

Hemant Soren, son of JMM supremo Shibu Soren, was released from jail on June 28 after the Jharkhand High Court granted him bail in a money laundering case linked to the alleged land scam. The JMM-led alliance in the state unanimously elected him as the legislature party leader shortly after his release.

Soren had resigned as Chief Minister shortly before his arrest on January 31 by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). His return to the chief ministerial position comes amid ongoing legal challenges. Official sources in New Delhi indicate that the ED is expected to approach the Supreme Court to challenge the Jharkhand High Court's order granting bail to Soren. The single bench of Justice Rongon Mukhopadhyay of the High Court, in its June 28 order, expressed doubts about the petitioner’s (Soren's) innocence and questioned whether he met the conditions required under Section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

While Jharkhand's Cabinet can have up to 12 ministers, it currently has a strength of 10. The JMM-led alliance’s strength in the state assembly stands at 45 MLAs, comprising 27 from JMM, 17 from Congress, and 1 from the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). This reduction in numbers follows the recent Lok Sabha elections, which saw two JMM MLAs, Nalin Soren and Joba Majhi, elected to the Lok Sabha. Jama legislator Sita Soren also resigned to contest the general elections on a BJP ticket. The JMM expelled two more legislators, Bishunpur MLA Chamra Linda and Boriyo MLA Lobin Hembrom.

The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also seen its strength reduced to 24 MLAs, as two of its members, Dhulu Mahto (Baghmara) and Manish Jaiswal (Hazaribag), were elected as MPs. The BJP further expelled Mandu MLA Jaiprakash Bhai Patel after he joined Congress to contest the polls.

Edited By: sanchayaita roy
Published On: Jul 04, 2024