Jharkhand: Hemant Soren govt wins trust vote, 11 including ex-CM Champai sworn in as ministers

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren speaks during a special session of the State Legislative Assembly, held for the floor test of the JMM-led government, at Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha, in Ranchi.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren speaks during a special session of the State Legislative Assembly, held for the floor test of the JMM-led government, at Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha, in Ranchi.

Ranchi | Former Jharkhand chief minister Champai Soren and 10 other leaders of the JMM-led coalition took oath as ministers in the Hemant Soren government after it won a trust vote in the assembly amid a walkout by opposition members on Monday.

A total of 45 MLAs, including nominated member Glen Joseph Galstaun, voted in favour of the confidence motion.

BJP and AJSU legislators walked out of the House as the headcount for voting started. The BJP-led opposition has 24 legislators of the saffron party and three of the AJSU Party.

After winning the trust vote, Hemant Soren said, "Today, everyone again got to witness the unity and strength of the ruling alliance. I thank the Speaker and all the alliance MLAs."

He said the JMM-led alliance has been performing strongly since coming to power in 2019 by following the constitutional procedures and it was again witnessed during the day.

During his speech on the confidence motion in the assembly, the chief minister said, "One could see the conduct of BJP legislators after seeing me again in the House."

"The BJP doesn't have any agenda for the state. The people of the country held a mirror to the BJP in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls. In the upcoming assembly elections, they will face strong resistance from the JMM-led alliance," the CM said.

Speaking on the confidence motion, Leader of Opposition Amar Bauri alleged that the JMM-Congress-RJD alliance government did not fulfill even a single promise in the last five years.

Earlier, BJP legislators trooped into the well seeking Speaker Rabindra Nath Mahto's permission to allow MLA Bhanu Pratap Sahi to speak, which was turned down by the Speaker.

Seventy-five MLAs were present in the assembly during the voting. Independent legislator Saryu Roy abstained from voting.

After the trust vote, Jharkhand Governor C P Radhakrishnan administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 11 leaders, including Champai Soren, at a function in the Raj Bhavan in the presence of Chief Minister Hemant Soren and other senior politicians of the JMM-led alliance and government officials.

Champai Soren had resigned from the post of CM on July 3, a day before JMM executive president Hemant Soren took oath as the 13th chief minister of Jharkhand on July 4.

After taking oath as a minister, Champai Soren said, "Whatever I have done in a short span as the CM is before everyone. Now let's see what responsibility is given to me."

Radhakrishnan, after administering the oath, said, "My best wishes to all the new ministers and to the new chief minister (Hemant Soren). We always go by the Constitution, which calls for addressing the needs of the poorest of the poor. I expect only that from the new government."

The new faces in the 12-member cabinet, which includes the chief minister, are Congress's Jamtara MLA Irfan Ansari, Mahagama MLA Deepika Pandey

Jharkhand Governor C. P. Radhakrishnan greets JMM MLA Champai Soren after the latter took oath as a minister in the newly formed Hemant Soren government, at Raj Bhavan, in Ranchi, Monday, July 8, 2024.
Jharkhand Governor C. P. Radhakrishnan greets JMM MLA Champai Soren after the latter took oath as a minister in the newly formed Hemant Soren government, at Raj Bhavan, in Ranchi, Monday, July 8, 2024.

Singh and JMM's Latehar MLA Baidynath Ram.

Ram's name had been excluded at the last moment from the list of ministers in the previous Champai Soren cabinet, which he had termed as an "insult".

Those who retained their ministerial berths include Rameshwar Oraon and Banna Gupta of the Congress, besides JMM's Mithilesh Kumar Thakur, Hafizul Hasan, Dipak Birua and Bebi Devi and RJD's Satyanand Bhokta.

JMM chief Shibu Soren's youngest son Basant Soren and Congress's Badal Patralekh, who were road construction and agriculture ministers respectively in the former Champai Soren government, have been dropped as ministers in the Hemant Soren dispensation.

Meanwhile, leader of opposition Amar Bauri and chief whip Biranchi Narayan met Jharkhand Governor CP Radhakrishnan and alleged that Hafizul Hasan used religious line during oath.

"The way Madhupur MLA Hafizul Hasan started the oath of office and secrecy with the religious line, I think it was unconstitutional. He should be sworn in again and till then he should be considered free from the post of minister," they requested governor.

Later, Hemant Soren allotted the portfolios to ministers and held a cabinet meeting and proposed to form a Displacement Commission.

"Different types of mining activities happen in the state. But, there were no clear policies for those related to mining activities. In this regard, we have proposed to form a Displacement Commission in a cabinet meeting today,” Soren told reporters after the cabinet meeting.

A socio economic survey of the displaced will be done and a database will be prepared to benefit them accordingly, he said.

The CM said that he has asked the ministers to review the implementation of policies and schemes that the government has done for the welfare of the people.

Hemant Soren was released from jail on June 28 after the Jharkhand High Court granted bail to him in a money laundering case linked to an alleged land scam. He had resigned as the CM shortly before his arrest on January 31 by the Enforcement Directorate.

The ruling alliance comprises the JMM, Congress and the RJD while it is supported from outside by the lone CPI (ML) Liberation legislator.

After the Lok Sabha elections, the strength of the JMM-led alliance has been reduced to 45 MLAs in the 81-member House, with 27 of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, 17 of the Congress and one of the Rashtriya Janata Dal.

The current strength of the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly is 76. The ruling JMM-Congress-RJD alliance had handed over a support list of 44 MLAs to the Governor when Hemant Soren staked his claim to form the government on July 3. Assembly elections are due in Jharkhand later this year.

ED moves SC challenging bail to Hemant Soren in money laundering case

New Delhi | The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has moved the Supreme Court challenging the Jharkhand High Court's order granting bail to JMM leader Hemant Soren in a money laundering case linked to an alleged land scam.

The high court had on June 28 granted bail to Soren, who on July 4 took oath as the chief minister of Jharkhand.

Soren, the executive president of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), had resigned as chief minister shortly before his arrest on January 31 by the ED in the case.

Earlier during the hearing in the high court, ED's counsel had argued that if Soren was released on bail, he might commit a similar offence and referred to cases against ED officers in the SC/ST police station.

"Though the conduct of the petitioner has been sought to be highlighted by the Enforcement Directorate on account of the First Information Report instituted by the petitioner against the officials of the ED, but on an overall conspectus of the case, there is no likelihood of the petitioner committing a similar nature of offence," the high court had said.

The single bench order had also mentioned that the consequence of the findings recorded by the court "satisfies the condition as at section 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 to the effect that there is reason to believe that the petitioner is not guilty of the offence as alleged".

Soren was summoned multiple times by the ED before being questioned at his residence and subsequently arrested on January 31.

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