Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Thursday accused the BJP of “blatantly misusing constitutional authorities and public agencies”, with the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) claiming that there was no immediate threat to the government, The Indian Express reported.
Earlier in the day, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had sent its opinion to Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais in a sealed cover in a matter pertaining to Soren’s qualification as MLA for alleged misuse of power to get a mining lease. BJP members had filed a complaint seeking the CM’s disqualification.
According to the Indian Express, the EC in its opinion sent to the Governor has found the CM guilty of misusing his position.
Meanwhile, CM Soren went into a huddle with his advisors and state Advocate General Rajiv Ranjan, after media reports of the ECI opinion emerged.
Following the media reports, the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said in a message, “The chief minister is apprised of several media reports about the ECI sending a report to Governor, Jharkhand, apparently recommending his disqualification as an MLA. No communication in this regard has been received by the CMO from either the ECI or the Governor.”
“It apparently seems that BJP leaders, including a BJP MP and his puppet journalists, have themselves drafted the ECI report, which is otherwise a sealed cover report. This blatant misuse of constitutional authorities and public agencies and its complete takeover by BJP HQ in Deendayal Upadhyay Marg in this shameful manner is unseen in Indian Democracy,” the CMO quoted Soren as saying, as reported by IE.
The BJP, the petitioner in the case, has sought Soren’s disqualification for violating section 9A (disqualification for government contracts) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, PTI reported.
The BJP had alleged that Soren, while holding the charge of the state mining department, had allotted a stone chips mining lease to himself in 2021 flouting the office of profit norms. He had also allotted to his political advisor Pankaj Mishra, and press advisor Abhishek Prasad, the party further claimed.