One prime questions need to be answered today. One, why instead of Kalpana Soren, Champai Soren was elected as leader of the legislature party to succeed Hemant Soren as Chief Minister? 

Sita Soren, wife of ex-CM Hemant Soren, was with her husband, who were photographed during a meeting of MLAs of the JMM and its allies Congress and RJD on Tuesday. 

On this day, CM Soren had “ resurfaced” in Ranchi, after he reportedly disappeared from his New Delhi residence on Monday. That was the time when 

Kalpana Soren was projected to succeed CM Soren. It was widely reported too. However, the party backtracked the plan after Sita Soren, step- sister-in-law of the then CM Soren revolted against her, claiming she was senior to her and deserved the post of CM. Kalpana Soren was not the elected MLA. 

She could not even become MLA during the next six months as the five-year term of the Jharkhand Assembly is slated to end in January 2025. As such, the by-poll can’t be expected to be conducted by the ED. Sita had skipped the MLA meeting chaired and convened by then CM Soren on Tuesday. 

She did not even turn up at the CM’s residence while he faced ED’s questioning on Wednesday. Her phone remained switched off throughout the day as her associates claimed she was flying to Ranchi from New Delhi. 

In addition to her absence, another JMM MLA from Sahibgunj, Lobin Hembrom, who had opposed CM Soren for quite some time, backed Sita who was the elder of two- daughters- in laws of CM Hemant Soren’s father Shibu Soren, and has been MLA for three terms. “ She should get social justice”, Hembrom is on record having said on Wednesday afternoon. 

Fearing a possible intra-party rebellion and playing safe, and the Bahu vs Bahu rivalry within the Soren family, Soren-led JMM MLAs preferred to select Champai Soren as Hemant Soren’s replacement. 

Now, Champai Soren is expected to serve as the 7th Chief Minister of Jharkhand (Designate) since 2024 after ED arrested Former Chief Minister Hemant Soren. 

Champai Soren is a member of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and represents Seraikella (ST Assembly constituency) of Jharkhand. Previously he was serving as the Cabinet Minister of Transport, Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Caste & Backward class welfare in the cabinet of Hemant Soren,CM of Jharkhand.

After the ED took him into their custody and CM Soren resigned, a group of five MLAs led by Champai Soren met Governor C. P. Radhakrishnan. Champai Soren, who does not belong to the Shibu Soren family and yet is considered “ loyal” to him and Hemant Soren, claimed they had the backing of 47 MLAs and sought his order to allow him to take oath of CM’s office. 

Governor C. P. Radhakrishnan who told him that he will “ look into” their plea and respond shortly. That has not taken place till now.

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