MLAs Arrive at CM Soren's Residence in Ranchi Ahead of Disqualification Decision

The MLAs were expected to attend a meeting in Ranchi, presided over by Congress state incharge Avinash Pande.

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Amid political uncertainty in the state, buses carrying Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren and other MLAs arrived at the CM's residence in Ranchi on Saturday, 27 August.

The MLAs, along with the chief minister, left Khunti district's Latratu Dam for Ranchi after Soren took them out on a picnic boat ride while dodging attempts at the poaching of his government's lawmakers.

CM Soren reportedly stopped the bus midway and spoke to women and children in the area.

Meanwhile, Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais' decision over Soren's probable disqualification as an MLA is expected by Saturday evening.

Earlier in the day, UPA legislators had attended a meeting at Soren's residence.

All UPA MLAs were also expected to attend a meeting at 8.30 pm in Ranchi, to be presided by Congress state incharge Avinash Pande.

Speaking to ANI, Pande said, "All MLAs & ministers have only gathered to discuss the political activities that went down in past few days. We're here to discuss the matter and reach some conclusion on it."

The Election Commission of India (ECI) had recommended Soren's disqualification as an MLA to Governor Bais as it found that Soren had violated the electoral law by extending a mining lease to himself. Now, all eyes and ears are focused on the governor's decision.

Meanwhile, a three-day meeting of the BJP's state executive took place in Jharkhand's Giridh district with party leaders, MPs, MLAs and Union ministers from all districts of the state present.

While UPA MLAs were seen arriving at CM Soren's residence with bags and luggage, there has been no confirmation about the MLAs being moved elsewhere.

The MLAs were expected to attend a meeting in Ranchi, presided over by Congress state incharge Avinash Pande.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Hemant Soren said, "BJP worked for 20 years to ruin the state. They troubled the tribals, para teachers, Anganwadi didis, government employees, women, youth, farmers, elders."

"Our government came, we started giving rights along with sensitivity," he added.

Jharkhand Minister Banna Gupta told ANI, "We are working for people, doing one work after the other. So, BJP is perturbed. When state is heading towards all-round development, BJP is worried. It wants to topple Govt one way or the other.We want to save Govt, BJP is insulting the people's mandate."

What Are Soren’s Options?

If Soren is found guilty of holding an office of profit while being a legislator, he will be forced to resign from his office and will lose membership of the Assembly, legal experts said.

On Saturday, 27 August, Jharkhand Congress Working President, Bandhu Tirkey told the ANI, "They (BJP) are perturbed. So, they have been conspiring against this Govt since day one. Whenever a tribal person became CM of the state, they didn't allow him to complete his tenure."

The BJP, the petitioner in the case, has sought Soren's disqualification for violating section 9 A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which deals with disqualification for government contracts.

Speculation is rife that if Soren is disqualified, his wife Kalpana is likely to be appointed the CM.

While the BJP has demanded that the Soren-led government be dissolved and mid-term elections be held, the embattled CM, claiming that this was an attempt to destabilise his government, has said that he "will fight till the last drop of blood."

Soren's party, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), said on 25 August that it would move the Supreme Court if Soren is disqualified as an MLA.

(With inputs from ANI.)

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Topics:  UPA   Jharkhand   Hemant Soren 

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