ANI Photo | Amid ED’s heat on Hemant Soren, his successor Champai stakes claim to form new government in Jharkhand

Jharkhand Transport Minister Champai Soren, who was named as JMM legislative party leader, wrote a letter to Governor CP Radhakrishnan, staking a claim to form the new government in the state.
Champai, the loyalist of Hemant Soren, who was arrested by Directorate of Enforcement officials in connection with a money laundering probe linked to the alleged land scam on Wednesday night, stated in the letter that he has the support of 47 legislators, enough to form a government in the 81 member Assembly state.
Champai Soren, the state transport minister, is a seven-time MLA and he represents the Seraikella constituency in Jharkhand. Before joining the JMM, he was an independent MLA.
“I have been elected the leader of the legislature party in the meeting of the legislature party of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha on January 31, 2024. Subsequently, today all the MLAs of the coalition parties have unanimously elected me as the leader of the joint legislature party. Therefore, it is a regard to Sir that after accepting my claim, I would like to take action to appoint me as Chief Minister for the formation of a new government soon,” the state minister wrote in the letter to the Governor.
This came after Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chairperson Hemant Soren got arrested by the ED in the land scam case on Wednesday night, sources confirmed.
Earlier on Wednesday evening, Hemant Soren met Governor Radhakrishnan at Raj Bhawan and handed over his resignation after over six hours of questioning by the ED.
As per sources, the ED had issued a fresh summons to Soren, asking him to be available for questioning on January 29 or 31, or else the agency itself would go to him for questioning. This is the tenth summons issued to the Jharkhand Chief Minister by the ED.
On Wednesday, a team of ED officials arrived at the residence of Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren for questioning in the case.
There was heavy police deployment around the Chief Minister’s residence in Ranchi.
On Monday, officials from the ED visited Soren’s residence in Delhi to question him. The central agency seized two cars and Rs 36 lakh but did not find the JMM leader.
Later, Soren, in a letter to the Enforcement Directorate, said he would record his statement before the agency officials at 1 pm on Wednesday, January 31, at his residence in Ranchi.
The Jharkhand chief minister alleged that questioning him at this time was more political and was meant to disrupt the functioning of his government.
According to the ED, CM Soren was questioned as a part of the probe into the ‘huge racket of illegal change of ownership of land by the mafia’.
The probe pertains to huge amounts of proceeds of crime generated by forging official records by showing ‘fake sellers’ and purchasers in the guise of forged or bogus documents to acquire huge parcels of land having value in crores

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