Updated February 1st, 2024 at 13:39 IST
As Hemant Soren's Arrest Looks Imminent, Will Wife Kalpana Soren Take Over?
Section 144 was imposed near the Jharkhand Chief Minister's residence as CM Hemant Soren is currently holding a meeting of his MLAs
Ranchi: As the arrest of Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren looks imminent, he held meeting of the MLAs at his official residence on Tuesday, January 30. Hemant Soren was untraceable for over 40 hours, after which he arrived at his official residence in Ranchi on Tuesday. Hemant's wife Kalpana Soren was also present in the meeting.
All the MLAs of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-led ruling alliance in Jharkhand, including the ministers, were present in the meeting. The MLAs of the ruling Mahagathbandhan which includes- Congress, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) have been asked not to leave the state capital.
Hemant Soren's arrest imminent
Hemant Soren was allegedly untraceable since 30 hours as he is on the verge of being arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in an alleged land scam case. The ED is currently investigating three money laundering cases- including land scam, illegal mining case and coal mining case- related to Hemant Soren and reportedly possesses compelling evidence against Soren.
In a recent raid conducted at Hemant Soren's Delhi residence conducted on Monday, the ED seized Rs 36 lakh, an SUV and some "incriminating" documents. The central agency searched the 5/1 Shanti Niketan residence of the JMM leader in south Delhi and camped there for almost 13 hours in order to question him. Following this, Soren sent an email to the agency in which he agreed to record his statement on January 31 at 1 pm at his residence.
Will Hemant hand over the state to wife Kalpana?
As the Jharkhand politics gets interesting, it seems that Hemant will hand over the top chair to wife Kalpana Soren if he has to resign. Observers suggest that there would be no resistance to Kalpana's name despite she not being an MLA. Reports suggest that if Hemant has to hand over the state to Kalpana, the JMM would ensure her entry into the legislative assembly from the Gandey seat.
Kalpana becomes a strong contender owing to the persisting internal differences in the Congress party over leadership issues.
Earlier, Hemant Soren's sister has also signalled that if needed Kalpana Soren will take up the post. Anjali Soren said, “If needed, she can become the CM. Our party has other members too, it will be decided in the legislative party meeting. I can't tell you with confirmation but if needed, she will be."
Who is Kalpana Soren?
Insiders suggest that Kalpana has been a constant adviser of Hemant Soren. Kalpana Soren hails from Mayurbhanj district of Odisha and is believed to be close to President Droupadi Murmu. Kalpana and Hemant Soren got married in 2006. The 43-year-old Kalpana Soren holds an MBA and the couple has two sons. Kalpana is currently engaged in organic farming and runs a school.
How numbers stack up in Jharkhand assembly?
In the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly, the ruling coalition has 47 MLAs, including 29 MLAs from the JMM, 17 from the Congress, and one from the RJD. With clear strength in the assembly, it is being speculated that if Soren has to resign from the CM's post due to the ongoing investigation his wife, Kalpana Soren, may take over.
Published January 30th, 2024 at 14:18 IST