While a political crisis is haunting the government of Jharkhand after reports that India’s Election Commission has recommended the disqualification of Prime Minister Hemant Soren as MLA, lawmakers from the ruling camp have now moved to a guest house in Khunti, which is nearly 20 miles (32 km) from the capital Ranchi is located.
Photos tweeted by ANI news agency showed lawmakers from the ruling JMM-Congress-RJD coalition sitting on a bus, all smiles, flashing victory signs at the camera. According to reports, two buses occupied by lawmakers from the ruling camp went to the guest house guarded by security personnel. One of the images showed Prime Minister and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Hemant Sorent with the MLAs.
The development came shortly after the third round of a meeting of lawmakers from the ruling alliance held at the prime minister’s residence to map out a strategy to address the emerging scenario. The ruling MLAs are said to have attended the meeting along with their luggage.
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Earlier in the day, Godda MP for BJP, Nishikant Dubey, known for his controversial comments, tweeted: “According to sources from Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, some MLAs reached Chhattisgarh at 2 am. Most MLAs are reluctant to go and wait for the orders of senior JMM leader Basant Soren. Some buses are parked in Ranchi for MLAs.”
The ECI sent its advice to Ramesh Bais on August 25 on a plea seeking to disqualify the prime minister as an MLA for violating electoral standards by renewing a mining lease to himself.
Meanwhile, Raj Bhavan sources said the governor could make a phone call in the evening about ECI’s views on the prime minister’s “disqualification” as MLA and send the disqualification order to the committee.
The JMM, the largest party, has 30 MLAs, Congress 18 legislators and the RJD. The main opposition BJP has 26 MLAs in the House.
(with PTI inputs)