Updated June 4th, 2024 at 17:19 IST

Kalpana Soren Wife of Former Chief Minister Hemant Soren Ready For Her New Innings in Jharkhand

Politics was never her choice, but circumstances forced her into it after her husband Hemant was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on January 31

Kalpana Soren ready for her new innings in J'khand | Image:PTI
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Ranchi: Not long after Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi compared Kalpana Soren, wife of jailed former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, to a "lioness" ready to defend her territory, Kalpana, credited with revitalising the JMM, is gearing up for her new role.

Politics was never her choice, but circumstances forced her into it after her husband Hemant was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on January 31 in connection with a money laundering case linked to an alleged land fraud.

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Kalpana led the JMM through the Lok Sabha elections, rallying support by accusing the BJP of being a "tyrannical force" intent on oppressing the opposition INDIA bloc.

Since her husband's arrest, she has been emphasising that it is not in the DNA of tribals to bow. She currently leads her nearest BJP rival, Dilip Kumar Verma, by about 26,000 votes in Gandey assembly bypoll.

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Kalpana's political journey began on March 4 at the JMM's 51st Foundation Day celebration in Giridih district, where she claimed that a conspiracy had been orchestrated by opponents since the Hemant Soren coalition government came to power in 2019.

Hemant Soren was arrested by the ED on January 31 in connection with a money laundering case linked to an alleged land fraud. He resigned from his post before the arrest.

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Kalpana has been a prominent figure in INDIA bloc rallies in Jharkhand and campaigned for the alliance in the state. She was one of the key speakers at the 'Ulgulan Nyay' rally in Ranchi, attended by leaders of 28 parties on April 21.

After the ruling JMM-led alliance proved its majority on February 5 and her husband gave a fiery speech in the assembly, Kalpana announced on X that the "fight against injustice and oppression will continue." Kalpana, 48, holds engineering and MBA degrees.

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"I will fight against injustice and dictatorial forces as bowing is not in tribal DNA. I will follow my husband's footsteps. He chose to court imprisonment rather than compromise his values. I am his better half and will see to it that tyrannical forces get a befitting reply," Kalpana has been emphasising.

She terms her husband's arrest by the ED as politically motivated and part of a plan to coerce him to join the BJP.

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"His arrest is part of a plan by the central government to browbeat, intimidate, and humiliate him, but they will get a befitting reply in the elections," she said.

Kalpana completed her schooling in Baripada in Odisha's Mayurbhanj district and obtained her engineering and MBA degrees in Bhubaneswar.

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Speculation regarding Kalpana's candidacy arose following the resignation of Ahmad in December, with the BJP claiming it was to facilitate her candidacy in case the ED issued summonses to her husband.

Hemant Soren had dismissed rumours of Kalpana contesting from Gandey, calling it BJP's fabrication. The BJP in the state has been attacking Kalpana, saying that Champai Soren was a "caretaker and puppet chief minister" while she was the "centre of power" in Jharkhand.

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In a post on X, Kalpana said people have fought this election together with the INDIA alliance against dictatorial forces.

"All of you have reached this far in this great election campaign by shedding your blood and sweat. Every vote is precious for us. That is why we have to maintain our passion and fighting spirit until we get the certificate of victory," she said. 

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Published June 4th, 2024 at 17:18 IST