In a political showdown set to unfold today, Jharkhand Chief Minister Champai Soren is bracing for a trust vote in the state assembly, merely days after assuming office on Friday. This follows the arrest of his predecessor, Hemant Soren, on money laundering charges just two days earlier.
The JMM-led coalition, comprising the Congress, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, and the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist), holds 48 seats in the 81-member assembly. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, in contrast, commands 32 seats, leaving one seat vacant.
As the political drama intensifies, 35 legislators from the ruling JMM-led alliance returned to Ranchi on Sunday, having been strategically relocated to Congress-ruled Telangana’s Hyderabad to thwart potential poaching attempts by the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The lawmakers were lodged at Ranchi’s Circuit House.
State Minister Alamgir Alam asserted on Sunday that their lawmakers stand united, with the firm backing of 48 to 50 legislators. A move seemingly aimed at fortifying their position in the impending trust vote.
In an unexpected twist, a special court in Ranchi granted permission on Saturday for Hemant Soren, the erstwhile Chief Minister, to attend the crucial floor test. Insiders suggest that the assembly’s security measures will be heightened as Hemant Soren makes his way to the House.
JMM leader Supriyo Bhattacharya, expressing confidence, disclosed that besides the speaker, they enjoy the support of 47 legislators, six more than the magic number required for the trust vote. Bhattacharya further explained, “Of the four JMM legislators who have not signed the letter due to various reasons, Sita Soren and Lobin Hembrom have extended their support. One legislator, Ramdas Soren, is undergoing treatment in Delhi and is unlikely to return home for six months. The fourth JMM legislator, Chamra Linda, would also vote for us.”
Hembron, a former dissenter against the Hemant Soren government, declared his allegiance to Champai Soren on Sunday after a meeting with JMM founder Shibu Soren and legislator Basant Soren. The political landscape in Jharkhand remains volatile as the state anticipates the outcome of this crucial trust vote.