Jailed Hemant Soren During Jharkhand Trust Vote

Champai Soren took oath as Jharkhand Chief Minister on Thursday


Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren arrived in assembly today amid tight security as Champai Soren – who stepped into his shoes after his arrest – faced a trust vote to prove his government’s majority.

Addressing the assembly, Mr Soren alleged that even Raj Bhavan had a role to play in his arrest. “On the night of January 31, for the first time in the country, a chief minister was arrested…and I believe that Raj Bhavan was also involved in this incident,” he said.

“The day will be remembered as a black chapter in India’s history,” Mr Soren said.

Mr Soren challenged the BJP to prove the corruption charges against him, asserting that if the accusations are proved, he will quit politics.. “If they (BJP) have the courage, then show the documents of the land registered in my name. If it is proved, I will quit politics,” he said.

He said his successor Champen Soren has full support of the ruling alliance in Jharkhand.

A special court in Ranchi had allowed Hemant Soren, also the Executive President of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) to take part in the trust vote – a litmus test for the Champai Soren-led government.

Mr Soren pleaded before the court that he is a member of the assembly and has a right to participate in the special session which is crucial for his party.

Champai Soren, veteran leader of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, took oath as the new Chief Minister of Jharkhand on Friday, days after Hemant Soren was arrested.

The Enforcement Directorate has alleged that Hemant Soren is involved in a Rs 600-crore land scam and the laundering of its proceeds.

The land scam involves a “huge racket” to change of ownership of government land and selling it to builders, the agency has alleged.

The agency has so far arrested 14 people in the case, including 2011-batch IAS officer Chhavi Ranjan who served as the director of the state Social Welfare Department and deputy commissioner of Ranchi.

Mr Soren has claimed that he is the target of a huge conspiracy.

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