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Hemant Soren Wins Trust Vote, Inducts 11 Ministers in Cabinet

Hemant Soren Wins Trust Vote, Inducts 11 Ministers in Cabinet

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, July 8: The Hemant Soren-led Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Congress alliance government won the vote of confidence on the floor of the Jharkhand Assembly on Monday with 45 votes in favour and none against in the 81-member House currently having an effective strength of 76 members.

Mr Soren, who was sworn-in as the chief minister on Saturday taking back the mantle of the state from his close aide Champai Soren, moved the motion of confidence in his government, but after the debate on the motion, the entire opposition walked out of the House and the voting on the motion was to be taken up.

After winning the trust vote, Mr Soren inducted 11 ministers in his cabinet. The Ministers include six from the JMM, four from the Congress and one from the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). Governor C.P. Radhakrishnan administered the oath of office and secrecy to them. The JMM ministers included Mr Champai Soren who had taken over as the chief minister when Mr Hemant Soren was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in January on money laundering charges in connection with an alleged land scam. Mr Soren was granted regular bail by the Jharkhand High Court last week.

Keeping an eye on the state Assembly elections due later this year, Mr Soren kept both his brother Basant Soren and wife Kalpana Soren, who was elected as an MLA last year in a by-election, away from the cabinet so that the opposition BJP could not play on “family politics.” Two of the four ministers from the Congress were new entrants.

In the past 10 years, it is for the first time that any Chief Minister has used its full strength in the Cabinet. As per the rules, there can be maximum 12 Cabinet Ministers including Chief Minister in Jharkhand.

During the debate on the confidence motion, Mr Hemant Soren lashed out at the opposition accusing the BJP of misusing the Central agencies to harass the non-BJP leaders. As soon as he started his speech, BJP MLAs shouted slogans and accused him of “murdering the Constitution.” The BJP MLAs interrupted him during his speech, by rushing into the well of the House.

“In the next Assembly election, even half of the BJP MLAs shouting today will not reach the Assembly. They use Central agencies and hatch conspiracy against those who oppose them. They are the ones who used money power and operation lotus for horse-trading,” Mr Soren said. The former Chief Minister Champai Soren said whatever he could do within the five months, he did and whatever was the decision of the party, he followed.

Leader of the Opposition Amar Kumar Bauri slammed Mr Hemant Soren and the Congress. “Hemant Soren had said if his government is formed, then unemployment allowance will be given and if this does not happen, he will leave politics. The government is just cheating the people. The promise of five lakh jobs to the youth has not been kept and tribals are in danger. This government has broken all records of corruption. Incidents of rape and murder are happening,” Mr Bauri said.

The BJP’s ally All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) MLA Sudhesh Mahato made a sarcastic remark saying that people were trusting Champai Soren ji but it was the JMM itself which did not trust and brought this motion. “The JMM did not trust its own MLA Champai Soren ji who was working hard and did great work in his five-month tenure. Champai Soren ji was easily available and now once again the government has gone into monarchy,” Mr Mahato said.



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