Jharkhand CM Soren seeks copy of opinion from EC amid uncertainty

New Delhi: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has approached the Election Commission of India (ECI) seeking a copy of the vote sent last month to Governor Ramesh Bais on the office of profit around his mining lease, people familiar with the development said. said Friday – a move that is seen as an attempt by the chief minister to resolve the uncertainty over his position, given that 21 days have passed and the governor has yet to act.

He said Soren decided to explore the legal action due to the “delay” on the part of Raj Bhavan in making its decision public in the matter.

In a letter to the Election Commission secretary on Thursday, Soren’s counsel Vaibhav Tomar argued that the proceedings in the election body were judicial and, therefore, a copy of Rai should be shared with his client. Tomar said that the Election Commission has already sent its opinion on the matter to the Governor after several rounds of hearing and reserving its order.

“… while giving an opinion under Article 192(2) of the Constitution of India, proceeding before the Hon’ble Commission and the inquiry made therein, and judicial proceedings and the same is evident from the Section 146 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which is referred to as the 1965 Act. 17 w.e.f. 22/09/1965. Even the cases decided support the said argument,” he wrote in the letter, a copy of which has been seen by HT.

“We are therefore requesting for a copy of the opinion held by the Election Commission of India to the Hon’ble Governor of Jharkhand (recording the result of the inquiry) in terms of Article 192(2) read with Section 146 of the Representation of the Public Act, 1951. Please forward a copy of the opinion at the earliest to enable our client to take necessary action as per law,” he added in the letter.

The letter was sent on the day the Chief Minister met the Governor at the Raj Bhavan and made a similar demand through a memorandum.

A political crisis erupted in Jharkhand after the Election Commission sent a report to the governor on August 25, which recommended Soren’s disqualification as a member of the assembly for allegedly holding a mining licence.

A government official had earlier said that the election body had made its recommendation in a sealed cover to the governor, who sought action against the chief minister by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for allegedly holding an “office of profit”. Advice was sought – in this case, a mining licence.

On September 1, a delegation of the state’s ruling coalition also met and urged the governor to “clear the air” on the ECI report related to Soren’s assembly membership.

It is not clear why the governor is yet to act on the advice of the election body.

Soon after meeting the Governor, Soren left for New Delhi on Thursday night.

“The Chief Minister is meeting senior lawyers and seeking legal opinion for further course of action. He is ready to take further legal action in the matter,” said an official of the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) on condition of anonymity.

In his memorandum to the governor, Soren alleged that the BJP was using the delay in making the Election Commission’s opinion public on behalf of the Raj Bhavan to create confusion among the public about his assembly membership and the future of his government. Can you

The ruling coalition has 49 seats in the 81-member assembly. Of these, 30 are from Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), 18 from Congress and one from Rashtriya Janata Dal. The BJP and its ally All Jharkhand Students Union have 28 MLAs and two independents. A Nationalist Congress Party legislator and a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) are supporting the government.

Amid the current standoff over the continuation of Hemant Soren as an MLA, the ruling coalition shifted most of its MPs to a resort in Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh on August 30, to avert any political crisis.

However, on 5 September, the Jharkhand Assembly passed the confidence motion moved by the ruling coalition, even as the BJP staged a walkout just before the polls.

Meanwhile, on September 9, the Election Commission also sent its opinion to the Governor on the disqualification complaint against the Chief Minister’s MLA Bhai Basant Soren.

The BJP complaint sought disqualification of Basant from Dumka seat for allegedly being a partner in two mining lease firms in the state.

In this matter, the Election Commission had issued a notice to Basant on 5 May. He filed his reply on 12 May.

The Governor is yet to take a decision on this matter as well.