Leaders of Jharkhand’s ruling JMM-Congress coalition met Governor Ramesh Bais today amid uncertainty over Hemant Soren’s continuation as the Chief Minister and alleged attempts by the BJP to “destabilise” the government. The MLAs have complained that “leaks” from the Governor’s office are causing the commotion and in a letter, requested that he “clear the air”.
“The purported selective leaks from Your Excellency’s office are creating a state of chaos, confusion and uncertainty which vitiates the administration and governance of the state. This also encourages political brinkmanship to destabilise the democratically elected government headed by Hemant Soren by illegal means,” the letter read.
Pointing out that the disqualification of the Chief Minister will not affect the government since the coalition has the numbers, the letter requested that the Governor “declare the opinion (if any) received from the Election Commission”.
Congress working president Bandhu Tirkey later told reporters that the Governor has denied that the leaks are from office and has assured that he would provide clarity on the situation within two days.
“The Chief Minister is not resigning. The Governor is seeking legal opinion and has assured that the situation will be made clear within two days. We also questioned how selective information is being leaked to media. He assured that the source is not in his office,” Mr Tirkey was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
There have been multiple reports that the Election Commission has recommended the disqualification of the Chief Minister following a BJP complaint regarding an Office of Profit case. The BJP has alleged that he violated election rules by extending a mining lease to himself.
There, however, has been no official announcement from the Governor.
The ruling coalition, meanwhile, has moved its MLAs to Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh, accusing the BJP of attempting an “Operation Lotus” to destabilise the government.
The BJP has been demanding that the Chief Minister step down on “moral grounds” and a mid-term election be held.
The ruling coalition has 49 MLAs in the 81-member Assembly. The JMM, the largest party, has 30 MLAs, the Congress 18 legislators, and Tejashwi Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) one. The main opposition BJP has 26 MLAs.