Jharkhand Governor Holds Cards Close To His Chest; Yet To Take A Call On Soren's Disqualification
The Governor is yet to make public EC’s recommendation, as the decision over the disqualification of Chief Minister Soren hangs in the balance.
The uncertainty over the disqualification of Jharkhand’s Chief Minister Hemant Soren continues.
Following a petition by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seeking Soren's disqualification from the assembly in an office of profit case, the Election Commission (EC) sent its decision to state Governor Ramesh Bais on 25 August.
The Governor is yet to make public EC’s recommendation.
Assembly Break Up
Presently, Soren’s Jharkhand Mukti Morcha has 30 MLAs in the house, and its ally Congress has 18.
However, out of them, three were suspended after they were caught with cash worth Rs 49 lakh in West Bengal.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) or CPI-ML and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) also have one MLA each, making 48 the strength of the ruling coalition in the 82-member house.
The BJP on the other hand has 26 MLAs and All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU), its ally has two.
One more seat was added to BJP’s 25 after Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) or JVM(P) led by Babulal Marandi was merged with the party, taking the tally to 26.
However, the Governor is yet to take a call on Marandi’s disqualification under the anti-defection law, after two of JVM(P)’s legislators joined Congress.
JMM-Congress Government In Danger?
On Tuesday, 32 MLAs of the JMM-Congress-RJD coalition in Jharkhand flew to Raipur by a chartered flight and were taken to Mayfair Nava Raipur.
Both Congress and JMM suspect the BJP of making attempts to poach MLAs in a bid to topple the government.
BJP, on the other hand, has not made any move as it awaits the Governor’s decision.
In case, the ruling of the Governor requires Jharkhand Chief Minister to step down, he would have to fight an election again to become the chief minister.
Considering that the ruling coalition can keep its house in order, the status quo would remain.
However, BJP is demanding Chief Minister to announce mid-term polls on moral grounds. It is hoping that the Governor debars Soren from contesting elections.
Ball In Governor’s Court
Meanwhile, a delegation of UPA (United Progressive Alliance) leaders submitted a memorandum to Governor Bais and urged his office to end the speculation on Chief Minister’s disqualification.
It hinted at “purported selective leaks” from the Governor’s office that have led to a “state of chaos, confusion and uncertainty, which vitiates the administration and the governance of the State”.
On Friday, Bais flew to Delhi. It is reported that the Governor has sought advice from legal experts on the way ahead.
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