Ranchi: After a high-voltage political drama following the resignation and arrest of Hemant Soren, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Champai Soren on Friday took oath as the 12th Chief Minister of Jharkhand.
Along with Champai, Congress leader Alamgir Alam and RJD MLA Satyanand Bhokta were also sworn in on the occasion. Alam was the Parliamentary Affairs Minister in the Hemant Soren government and Bhokta was the Minister of Labour.
Before meeting the Governor on Thursday, the ruling coalition of JMM, Congress and Rashtriya Lok Dal released a video claiming support of 43 MLAs. Champai will now have prove his majority in a floor test within ten days.
According to sources, the BJP has also called an urgent legislature party meeting in Ranchi and it is likely to be attended by all senior party leaders.
Champai Soren (67), the JMM vice president, is the 12th chief minister of Jharkhand, a state marked by political instabilities and regime changes, and sixth from Kolhan region, comprising East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum, and Seraikela-Kharsawan districts. He grew up in Dumka and has won the Assembly elections six times. He lost only once in 2000.
His political career took off after he won the Saraikela seat in a byelection in 1991 as an independent candidate. He was a MLA in the 11th Bihar Assembly from 1995-2000. He is known as Jharkhand’s Tiger among his supporters for his significant contribution to the struggle for creating Jharkhand state in the 1990s.
He contested the 2005 elections as JMM candidate and was a Cabinet Minister in the Arjun Munda-led BJP-JMM government from September 2010 to January 2013.
Champai was made the Minister of Food and Civil Supplies and Transport in the JMM-led alliance government of Hemant Soren in July 2013. The government did not last long. He was again made the Minister of Transport, Scheduled Tribes, Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes Welfare when Hemant Soren became the Chief Minister for the second time in 2019.
Champia is said to be a close aid of former CM Shibu Soren, the JMM chief and father of Hemant Soren, and if political experts are to be believed, will function as per the senior leader’s dictate.
On the other hand, the Jharkhand HC has extended the judicial custody of Hemant Soren, who was arrested late Wednesday night on money laundering charges, to five days. This came after the Supreme Court refused to entertain his plea, challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate.