Sunday, June, 16,2024

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Hemant Soren in ED custody, Champai Soren to be new Jharkhand Chief Minister

Ranchi (Jharkhand): In a significant political development in Jharkhand, JMM MLAs elected state minister Champai Soren as the leader of the legislative party, paving the way for him to be the next Chief Minister of the state.

The development came as Hemant Soren went to the Governor to tender his resignation as Chief Minister. He has been facing questioning from the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case linked to an alleged land scam. A JMM leader said that Hemant Soren is in ED custody.

"The CM is in ED custody. The CM has gone to the Governor with the ED team to submit his resignation... Champai Soren will be the new Chief Minister... We have enough numbers," JMM MP Mahua Maji told reporters.

JMM MLAs held a meeting and went to the Raj Bhavan to apprise Governor CP Radhakrishnan of their decision. JMM heads a coalition government in the state which also includes Congress.

"We have chosen Champai Soren as the leader of the Legislative Party. We came to the Raj Bhawan to request the Governor for the oath ceremony," JMM leader and state minister Banna Gupta told reporters.

Earlier in the day, a team of ED officials arrived at the residence of Hemant Soren for questioning in the alleged land scam.

There was heavy police deployment around the Chief Minister's residence in Ranchi. Section 144 was imposed within a radius of 100 metres outside the CM's residence, Raj Bhavan and the ED office, amid the anticipation of protests, rallies and processions by the workers of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) over the action of the central probe agency.

The JMM workers had earlier gathered at Morabadi ground against the ED's action and raised slogans.

On Monday, officials from the ED had visited Soren's residence in Delhi to question him. The central agency seized two cars and Rs 36 lakh but did not find the JMM leader.

Later, Soren, in a letter to the Enforcement Directorate, said he would record his statement before the agency officials at 1 pm at his residence in Ranchi.

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