Ranchi: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has tendered his resignation following a marathon seven-hour interrogation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with an alleged land scam. The ED is investigating a “huge racket of illegal change of ownership of land by the mafia” in Jharkhand. Soren’s resignation comes amidst the political crisis, and Champai Soren’s name has been proposed as his successor.
Jharkhand Congress president Rajesh Thakur confirmed the resignation, stating that Champai Soren has been chosen as the new leader of the Legislative party. The ED team accompanied Hemant Soren to the Raj Bhavan for questioning.
Hemant Soren has filed a police complaint against ED officials under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, alleging selective misinformation about a seized BMW car and illicit cash.
Prohibitory orders were imposed in Ranchi ahead of the questioning, with a focus on strategic locations and over 7,000 police personnel deployed. This marks the second time Soren has been questioned by the ED in a fortnight.
The ED had issued summons to Soren, who accused the agency of having a “motivated political agenda” to disrupt the state government’s functioning. Legislators from the ruling JMM-led alliance signed a letter of support, and there were speculations about Soren’s wife, Kalpana Soren, possibly taking over.
Soren’s recent ‘disappearance’ prompted criticism from the BJP, which posted a ‘missing’ poster and offered a cash reward. JMM workers and supporters gathered in protest, claiming that Soren was targeted due to his tribal identity.
The political situation remains tense, with the Jharkhand Governor set to meet JMM MLAs, and reports suggesting the possibility of Hemant Soren’s arrest today.