The Champai Soren government in Jharkhand comfortably passed the majority test in Assembly this afternoon, getting 47 votes in the 81-member Assembly. With one MLA resigning last month, the majority mark in the Assembly was 41.
The ruling coalition comprising the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal had earlier expressed confidence that they would sail through. Twenty-nine votes were cast against the Champai Soren government.
The floor test in Jharkhand Assembly was held in the wake of dramatic developments in the tribal-dominated state, starting from former Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s late-night resignation, followed by his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate, on January 31. Hemant Soren is being investigated by the central agency in a money laundering case. The JMM leader has denied the allegations and termed them a BJP conspiracy.
The ruling JMM-Congress coalition backed Champai Soren to succeed Hemant Soren. The long-time aide of Shibu Soren took oath as Chief Minister on Saturday with two deputies.
Hemant Soren was present in Assembly for the floor test with court’s permission. In his remarks ahead of the floor test, Champai Soren said he would his government like “Hemant Soren part – II”.
In his emotionally charged speech, Hemant Soren hit out at the BJP-led central government, alleging a “slow-cooked” conspiracy to jail him. He did not spare the Governor either, accusing the Raj Bhavan of involvement in this conspiracy. Earlier, the JMM and Congress had questioned the delay in the Jharkhand Governor inviting Champai Soren to form the government, despite the ruling coalition staking claim soon after Hemant Soren’s resignation.
The former Chief Minister also dared the BJP to produce evidence against him in the land irregularities case he has been arrested in. “Show me the proof and I will quit politics,” he said.
In a strong charge for tribals, Mr Soren attacked the BJP and accused it of looking down on backward communities. “We left the jungle, came and sat next to them and their clothes are soiled. They see us as untouchables. If left to them, we would be back in the jungle,” he said.
Mr Soren targeted BJP leaders from Jharkhand “who bow before those with feudal mindset”. “It has been 24 years since Jharkhand was formed. Which party was in power for the longest time? All corruption started in 2019?”
“They do not want tribals to rise. They do not want us to become judges, IPS or IAS officers. They do not want us to become leaders,” he said, adding that he knew that hurdles will be created to ensure that he does not complete his five-year term.