Ranchi | Jharkhand’s JMM-led coalition government headed by Chief Minister Champai Soren on Monday comfortably won the vote of confidence, days after his predecessor was arrested by the ED in a land fraud case.
While 47 MLAs voted in favour of the confidence motion, 29 legislators opposed it in the 81-member assembly. Independent legislator Saryu Roy abstained.
Seventy-seven MLAs were present in the assembly during the voting.
After winning the trust vote, the ruling coalition legislators said it was a big slap on the face of the BJP that allegedly hatched a conspiracy to destabilise a democratically elected government by unleashing central forces.
The ruling alliance comprises the JMM, Congress and the RJD while it is supported from outside by the lone CPIML(L) legislator. The BJP-led opposition has 26 legislators of the saffron party and three of the AJSU Party.
JMM legislature party leader Champai Soren took oath as the chief minister of Jharkhand on February 2, after his predecessor Hemant Soren was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on January 31 in a money laundering case.
Champai Soren was given 10 days to prove his government’s majority on the floor of the house. He decided that the trust vote will be held on February 5.
Hemant Soren, who is in ED custody now, took part in the trust vote following permission granted by a special PMLA (Prevention of Money Laundering Act) court.
After winning the trust vote, Champai Soren said, "We will work with full pace on the schemes started by Hemant Soren.”
He said that the cabinet expansion will take place in the next 2-3 days.
JMM legislator Mithilesh Kumar Thakur said, “The win in the confidence vote is a tight slap on the face of the BJP.”
Earlier, speaking during the special session, the CM alleged that the saffron party was "attempting to destabilise democratically elected governments" in non-BJP-ruled states, including Jharkhand and it used central agencies to frame Hemant Soren in false cases.
"Hemant hai to himmat hai (Where there is Hemant, there is strength)," said Champai Soren.
The chief minister also said he is proud that his government is "part 2" of the Hemant Soren administration.
"Misuse of ED and CBI by the Centre a threat to democracy. I urge all to save democracy y following the path of the Father of the Constitution," Champai Soren said referring to B R Ambedkar.
The 67-year-old Jharkhand leader alleged that the saffron party was trying to create "anarchy in the country".
"The manner in which obstacles are being presented before our government is not a secret," he said.
The arrested ex-CM Hemant Soren claimed that the ED did not want him to speak inside the assembly.
"I challenge BJP to prove corruption charges against me. If someone proves that I possess 8.50 acres of land (illegally), I will resign from politics... January 31 is a black chapter in India's history... Raj Bhavan was instrumental in my arrest," Hemant Soren said.
During his speech, CPI (ML) L legislator Vinod Singh wondered how those with BJP always become corruption-free while those who are not indulged in wrongdoings.
Leader of Congress legislature party Alamgir Alam said the people of Jharkhand will never forget the welfare work done by Hemant Soren.
Leader of opposition in the Assembly Amar Bauri's comment that Congress is anti-national and anti-Jharkhand prompted ruling party MLAs to troop into the well to protest.
AJSU Party chief Sudesh Mahto said there is nothing abnormal in the questioning of Hemant Soren by central agencies as the Prime Minister of the country too had faced investigations earlier.
JMM’s Mithilesh Kumar Thakur said the victory of the alliance in the trust vote is a befitting reply to forces conspiring against it.
State BJP president Babulal Marandi urged the new chief minister to free Jharkhand from the clutches of a corrupt government system and middlemen.
"If Champai Soren ji becomes a photocopy of the Hemant Soren government, he may get into trouble," he said.
Congress MLA Banna Gupta said, "They (BJP) wanted to scare and threaten our MLAs, but this is a democratic government chosen by the public, it will stand strong. In the coming elections, we will again form the government."
Earlier the ruling coalition MLAs raised slogans like "Hemant Soren Zindabad '' for about 5 minutes when the former CM entered the House, clad in a white Kurta-pajama set.
After the trust vote, the House was adjourned till Tuesday.
The ruling alliance had ring-fenced its MLAs by flying them to Congress-ruled Telangana on February 2. The MLAs were brought to Ranchi by a chartered aircraft on Sunday night and brought to the Assembly from Circuit House where they spent the night.
The BJP MLAs described the shifting of JMM-led alliance MLAs to Hyderabad as a political manoeuvre to conceal internal differences within the ruling coalition.
The party denied charges that it was attempting to poach ruling alliance legislators.
In the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly, the majority alliance has 47 MLAs -- JMM 29, Congress 17 and RJD 1. The BJP has 26 members and the AJSU Party three. The NCP and CPI (ML) have one lawmaker each, apart from two Independents.