Amid political crisis, Jharkhand CM Soren to seek trust vote tomorrow

Amid the suspense over Jharkhand Chief Minister’s continuation as an MLA, Hemant Soren will seek a trust vote during the special session of the Assembly on Monday, an official said.

According to the letter sent by the Assembly Secretariat to the MLAs, the Chief Minister has expressed his desire to move a confidence motion to prove his majority.

Party sources said that the opposition BJP has also called a meeting of the legislature party on Sunday to chalk out its strategy in the House.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Alamgir Alam said, “There is confusion in Jharkhand. Our delegation met the Governor (on Thursday) and he assured us of clearing the air in a day or two. But till now nothing happened. That’s why we will put our point in the assembly and prove our majority.

The Election Commission (EC) sent its decision to Governor Ramesh Bais on August 25, following the BJP’s plea to disqualify Soren from the assembly in the office of profit case, triggering a political crisis in the state.

Though the decision of the Election Commission is yet to be made official, there is buzz that the Election Commission has recommended the disqualification of the Chief Minister as an MLA.

The ruling UPA has insisted that the disqualification of the CM as an MLA will not affect the government, as the JMM-Congress-RJD alliance enjoys an absolute majority in the 81-member house.

After a meeting with the UPA MLAs on September 1 on the issue, the governor went to Delhi on Friday, triggering further speculation. Raj Bhavan sources, however, said it was a “personal visit” for a medical check-up and he is likely to return to Jharkhand on Sunday.

In a joint statement on August 28, the UPA constituents had accused Bais of encouraging political horse-drawing by “deliberately delaying” the announcement of the decision.

Soren’s party Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) believes that the BJP may make serious efforts to take the party and its ally Congress MLAs along to topple the government like Maharashtra.

To keep the MLAs in a safe haven, 32 MLAs of the ruling coalition were taken to a resort in Raipur, the capital of Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh, on August 30.

Four of them, however, returned to attend the cabinet meeting held on Thursday, in which it was decided that a special session of the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly would be convened on September 5. The largest party, JMM, has 30 MLAs. Congress has 18 MLAs and one RJD MLA. The main opposition BJP has 26 MLAs in the house.

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