Verbal clash between ruling and opposition legislators over Jharkhand CM's 'absence'

Hemant Soren
Hemant Soren

Ranchi | A verbal clash between the ruling and opposition legislators of Jharkhand took place after Chief Minister and JMM leader Hemant Soren returned home here on Tuesday amid suspense about his whereabouts.

While the opposition BJP claimed that Soren was "missing" for several hours after going to Delhi, the Congress and JMM alleged that the saffron camp was spreading rumours about him.

Congress legislator Deepika Pandey Singh said, "The BJP’s ED, Delhi Police and IB together could not locate the chief minister. It is an utter failure of (union home minister) Amit Shah. He should resign immediately."

Singh said that the BJP was spreading rumours saying the CM was missing.

"We met him at his residence. It is a big slap on the face of BJP's rumour machine," she said.

Minister and senior JMM leader Champai Soren told reporters that the rumours spread by the saffron camp will not have any effect on the people.

Jharkhand BJP president Babulal Marandi wrote on X, "People heaved a sigh of relief as chief minister Hemant Soren, who had fled on foot from his Delhi residence late on the night of January 28, returned to the CM residence in Ranchi safe and secure, almost 40 hours later."

Marandi, a former chief minister, said in jest how much trouble Soren had faced during his rush to cover the distance of 1,295 km from Delhi to Jharkhand.

"Forget about Delhi, It seems that Hemant ji will not even dream of going anywhere across the border of Jharkhand, let alone by road or air, in the near future," Marandi said.

State Congress president Rajesh Thakur said that this was the first time when a question was being asked about a chief minister’s whereabouts.

"He is people's man and he was with them. It was the BJP, which was spreading rumours and creating confusion," he said.

Citing the ED's recovery of cash from Soren's residence, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey wondered if the chief minister has been hiding his "billions" of rupees after going "missing" for 50 hours.

In a swipe at the JMM leader, the Godda MP claimed his father Shibu Soran had also gone missing for 21 days while being a Union minister and the son has imbibed some of his attributes.

People have come to know of these "scared and cowardly" people, Dubey said.

Soren had left for New Delhi on January 27 night. Amid suspense about his whereabouts, he reached his official residence in Ranchi on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the federal agency searched the 5/1 Shanti Niketan residence of the JMM leader in south Delhi on Monday, and camped there for almost 13 hours in order to question him, officials said.

The ED has seized Rs 36 lakh, an SUV and some "incriminating" documents from there, they said.

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