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Updated January 31st, 2024 at 20:58 IST

After 7 Hours of ED Interrogation, Hemant Soren Arrested

Hemant Soren Latest News: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials.

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ED Arrests Hemant Soren
ED Arrests Hemant Soren | Image:Republic TV
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Hemant Soren Arrested: After seven hours of questioning, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials on Wednesday night in an alleged money laundering case linked to land deals. After being arrested Hemant Soren has stepped down from his position as Chief Minister. Soren had visited the Raj Bhavan to meet the Governor, where he officially tendered his resignation. Republic TV sources have revealed that Champai Soren will be the next CM of Jharkhand. MLAs of the ruling alliance (JMM, Congress and RJD) will meet Governor CP Radhakrishnan at Raj Bhavan in Ranchi at around 10 PM. 

Confirming the development, Jharhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) MP Mahua Maji said, "The CM is in ED custody. The CM has gone to the Governor with the ED team to submit his resignation... Champai Soren will be the new Chief Minister... We have enough numbers..."

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Meanwhile, there is heavy police deployment around the Chief Minister's residence in Ranchi. For the unversed, the ED officials had visited the residence of Soren in the national capital on Monday night to question him and said that the Jharkhand Chief Minister could not be located. The ED had issued fresh summons to Soren, asking him to be available for questioning on January 29 or 31, or else the agency itself would go to him for questioning. This was the tenth summons issued to the CM, by the ED.     

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‘Hemant Soren Being Targeted’

Meanwhile, hundreds of ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) workers and supporters from various districts of the state gathered in Ranchi’s Morabadi ground to protest against ED action against CM Soren. Holding party banners and posters and displaying bows and arrows, the supporters claimed that the CM was being targeted by the BJP-led central government through the probe agency for his tribal identity.

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"Hemant Soren is being targeted because he is a tribal. But, he is like a god to us. We can go to any extent for him," Jharna Pal, a JMM leader who came here from Jamshedpur said. 

Who Is Champai Soren?

  • Champai Soren, the senior minister in the Jharkhand government has a humble background rooted in the agricultural landscape of Jilinggoda village in the Saraikela-Kharsawan district. Born to Simal Soren, a farmer, Champai pursued education up to the 10th grade in a government school.
  • His life took a transformative turn with the emergence of the demand for a separate state of Jharkhand in the late 90s. Standing shoulder to shoulder with Shibu Soren, Champai actively participated in the Jharkhand movement, earning the moniker of the 'Jharkhand Tiger.'
  • Venturing into politics, Champai Soren commenced his journey as an independent MLA, securing victory in a by-election for the Saraikela seat. Subsequently, he aligned himself with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).
  • Champai Soren's contributions were acknowledged when he assumed the role of a Cabinet Minister, overseeing pivotal ministries from September 11, 2010, to January 18, 2013.
  • Following a period of President's rule, he returned to prominence under the leadership of Hemant Soren, taking on the responsibility of Minister of Food and Civil Supplies and Transport in the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha government.
  • Champai Soren's political journey reflects not only his commitment to the cause of Jharkhand but also his dedication to public service and governance in the state.

Does the CM Need to Resign After Arrest?

A Chief Minister can only be ousted from office after conviction in a case. J Jayalalitha, the late former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, was the first sitting Chief Minister in India to face arrest in connection with the disproportionate assets case. In her episode, she served for three years before being found guilty in a disproportionate assets case, as reported by The Times of India. While there might be practical challenges for a chief minister under investigation, there is no legal prohibition preventing them from continuing to hold office during the inquiry.  

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Published January 31st, 2024 at 20:25 IST

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