Jharkhand governor invites Champai Soren to take oath as chief minister

After a day-long political drama and uncertainities Jharkhand governor CP Radhakrishnan nominated JMM leader Champai Soren as chief minister and invited him to take oath on Friday.
Champai Soren reacts while coming out from Rajbhavan after a meeting with Guv CP Radhakrishnan.
Champai Soren reacts while coming out from Rajbhavan after a meeting with Guv CP Radhakrishnan.

Ranchi | After a day-long political drama and uncertainities Jharkhand governor CP Radhakrishnan nominated JMM leader Champai Soren as chief minister and invited him to take oath on Friday.

JMM leader Champai Soren had on Thursday visited the Governor and urged him to accept his claim to form the government at the earliest as there was "confusion" in the state, which was without a chief minister since the resignation of Hemant Soren, deepening the political crisis.

Amid concerns over the delay in the appointment of JMM legislative party leader Champai Soren as the next chief minister by the governor, the majority alliance also took steps to shift its MLAs from Jharkhand in two chartered planes, in a bid to ring-fence them against a possible poaching attempt by the BJP.

The alliance had planned to take its MLAs to Hyderabad from Ranchi in two chartered planes - one 12-seater and another of 37 seats.

Hyderabad is the capital of Telangana which is governed by the Congress, a constituent of the coalition.

However, the planes could not take off due to poor visibility, airport sources said.

The MLAs who waited for around two hours at the airport returned to the Circuit House here, where they had been staying.

Meanwhile, Hemant Soren, who was produced before the special PMLA court in Ranchi, was sent to judicial custody for a day.

He was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday after over seven hours of questioning on money laundering charges in an alleged land fraud case. Before the arrest, he tendered his resignation as Jharkhand chief minister.

The 48-year-old leader has also moved the Supreme Court challenging his arrest and the matter has been posted for hearing on Friday.

As there was no official communication from the Raj Bhavan over the government formation, Champai Soren wrote to the governor, saying: "Hemant Soren had tendered his resignation as the chief minister on Wednesday night, which was accepted by the Raj Bhavan at 8.45 pm.

"There is no government in existence in the state for the last 18 hours. There is a situation of confusion. You are the constitutional head. We all the MLAs and the people expect that you will pave the way for the formation of a popular government...".

Earlier in the day, state Congress chief Rajesh Thakur told PTI that Champai Soren, who is also heading the alliance, has sought time from the governor

JMM-led ruling alliance's MLA and JMM leader Hemant Soren's brother Basant Soren with other MLAs onboard a flight to Hyderabad.
JMM-led ruling alliance's MLA and JMM leader Hemant Soren's brother Basant Soren with other MLAs onboard a flight to Hyderabad.

at 3 pm to prove the majority. However, the governor called them for a meeting at 5.30 pm.

"We told the governor that I have already submitted the letter of support required for the formation of the new government and he should soon start the process for the same," Champai Soren told reporters after the meeting with the governor.

Champai Soren, who had gone with four other alliance legislators to meet Radhakrishnan, also said that the governor has assured them that he will take a decision soon on their request for the government formation.

"We stand united. Our alliance is very strong. No one can break it," he asserted.

"We will seek time again on Friday noon if the Jharkhand Raj Bhavan fails to call us by then," Congress leader Alamgir Alam told reporters after the meeting.

The JMM also released a video in which 43 legislators were present to show the coalition strength in the 81-member Jharkhand assembly.

Jharkhand Transport Minister Champai Soren was named as JMM legislative party leader on Wednesday, after which he met the governor and staked a claim to form the new government in the state with the support of 47 legislators.

The alliance leaders expressed concerns over the delay in Champai Soren's appointment as the CM, claiming that the Governor told them that he would get back to them after reviewing all the papers.

"We are unaware of the reasons for the delay...In case the Raj Bhawan delays in extending an invitation to the alliance to form a government, lawmakers will fly to Hyderabad, in a bid to thwart any attempt of the opposition BJP to poach them," Thakur said.

Reacting sharply, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said: "In the House of 81 MLAs, only 41 form a majority. Despite having the support of 48 MLAs, not inviting Champai Soren ji to form the government is clearly contempt of the Constitution and denial of public mandate."

In a post in Hindi on X, he added: "Nails are being hammered in the coffin of Indian democracy by His Excellencies", in an apparent reference to the role of governors in states.

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