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EC disqualifies Hemant Soren as MLA over “office of profit” allegations

The decision by EC came just hours after the Jharkhand CM took over a meeting of the legislators and ministers of the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-led alliance at his home in Ranchi to converse the political crunch that has held the state.

SNS | Ranchi |

Amid the on-going allegations of the Bharatiya Janata Party striving to topple the Jharkhand government, the Election Commission on August 26 debarred Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren as MLA in a mining case, which was reported by several media outlets.

The decision by EC came just hours after the Jharkhand CM took over a meeting of the legislators and ministers of the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-led alliance at his home in Ranchi to converse the political crunch that has held the state.

Earlier in the day, the Raj Bhavan had announced that Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais was set to take a call on the Election Commission’s step on the “disqualification” of CM Hemant Soren as MLA, today.

The EC had lent the suggestion to Governor Ramesh Bais after he demanded its advice on allegations put forward against Soren by the BJP and the further action against him for taking a mining license which is termed as similar to holding an “office of profit”.

EC step means that to continue as the Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Hemant Soren will have to win a by-election within six months, and make sure his party announces him as the leader.

Earlier this year, BJP had urged the Governor that the Jharkhand CM should have disqualification as MLA under Section 9(A) of the Representation of People’s Act. They had suspected that he tainted his position to get a stone mine’s license. Soren, however, had submitted a step for cancellation of the lease in the same month (February) itself. He denied the allegations saying that the mining lease did not fall under the purview of the office of profit rules as he held the 10-year lease in 2008 when he was not the chief minister of State.