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Jharkhand crisis: CM-elect Champai Soren kept on hold by Guv, MLAs to be moved out of state
In image Champai Soren (Wikimedia Commons) & JMM MLAs in bus (videograb)

Jharkhand crisis: CM-elect Champai Soren kept on hold by Guv, MLAs to be moved out of state

| @indiablooms | 01 Feb 2024, 11:44 pm

Ranchi/IBNS: The political crisis in Jharkhand, presently without a Chief Minister following Hemant Soren was arrest, ramped up Thursday evening after lawmakers from the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-Congress-Rashtriya Janata Dal alliance were herded into buses and driven away, kickstarting another "resort politics".

The MLAs were taken to Ranchi airport and were supposed to board chartered planes bound for Congress-ruled Telangana, but owing to bad weather, they were forced to change plans.

The Jharkhand lawmakers had been scheduled to land at the Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad, also called Old Hyderabad Airport, and rooms had been booked at the Taj Krishna and other hotels in the city.

According to reports, the MLAs will be flown to Telangana, one of only three states where the Congress is in power, to avoid being 'poached' by the BJP.

"We are going to the airport... you know what kind of people they (the BJP) are... they can do anything at any time. A total of 43 MLAs are going..." the Congress' Jharkhand chief, Rajesh Thakur said.

Visuals shared by news agency ANI showed a convoy of vehicles, including a luxury passenger bus with MLAs inside, waving to reporters, left Circuit House in Ranchi.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) Wednesday evening arrested Chief Minister Hemant Soren, minutes after him quitting the top post. Transport Minister Champai Soren, one of the veteran leaders of the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, was chosen to step into Hemant Soren's shoes.

Hemant Soren was arrested in connection with an alleged land scam, minutes after meeting the governor and handing in his resignation.

Earlier on Thursday, Champai Soren met and urged Governor CP Radhakrishnan to invite him to form the next state government. "We have demanded that the process to start formation of the new government begin. Governor has assured us it will start soon."

"We have submitted the report with 43 MLAs in our support. We expect the number will reach 46-47... so there is no problem. Our 'gathbandhan', or alliance, is very strong," Champai Soren said.

Soren met Governor Radhakrishnan at his Raj Bhawan residence in Ranchi with five MLAs in tow.

The meeting between Champai Soren and the Governor followed an emotional appeal in which Soren, widely seen already as a Chief Minister-in-waiting, urged the latter to take immediate action.

"...there is no government for 18 hours. There is a situation of confusion. Being the constitutional head, we expect you will soon take steps for the formation of a popular government..." he wrote.

The Jharkhand Assembly has 81 members with a majority mark of 41.

The JMM-Congress-RJD alliance has 47 MLAs, of whom 29 are from Soren's party and 17 are from the Congress. The RJD of former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Yadav has one.

The BJP has 25 MLAs and the AJSU, or All Jharkhand Students Union, has three. The remaining seats are divided between the NCP and a Left party (one each) and there are three independent MLAs.

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