Hemant Soren, 48-year-old working president of the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, is in jail. Right now he is facing the charge of money laundering slapped on him by the Enforcement Directorate.

His fate, personal and political, rests on the success and failure of the ED in the court of judiciary. While that is under the surveillance of ED,judiciary and media,Soren has raised many eyebrows. 

If his deeds are to be evaluated neutrally,Soren, ex CM,who started his political career in the shadow of his father and party founder Shibu Soren, MP,has surprised many over the past week with deft political moves that helped save the JMM led government in Jharkhand. 

Clearly,Hemant has managed to prevent President's rule in the state and facilitate a smooth transfer of power to his family’s close aide Champai Soren who won vote of confidence on Monday. 

Last Monday, a team of ED officials had reached Soren’s New Delhi residence and conducted searches in connection with the money laundering case against him. 

Media covering the event said Mr Soren was “untraceable” and even his staff members were clueless about his whereabouts. 

The BJP was quick to seize the opportunity and declare the Chief Minister "missing" and claim that Jharkhand was in the middle of a constitutional crisis. 

In Ranchi, the JMM, however, kept assuring that they are in touch with him and he will appear before the agency on January 31. 

Incidentally, the private plane on which Hemant Soren had flown from Ranchi to reach Delhi, remained parked in the Delhi airport.

Reports quoting ED officials said “they had no idea about where he was.” On January 30, Hemant Soren surfaced in Ranchi and met MLAs of the ruling coalition of JMM, Congress and RJD. 

Now, investigation revealed that Soren has managed to pull off a rather challenging feat for a Chief Minister -- a 1,300 km road trip dodging media, enforcement agencies and tool booth cameras. 

Ex CM Soren was questioned by ED officials through last Wednesday and when it became clear that he would be arrested, he pulled off a bold move that may have just saved his government. 

Soren refused to sign the arrest memo before he resigned as Chief Minister, according to ED sources. 

The arrest of a sitting Chief Minister would have created the possibility of the imposition of President's rule in the state on the ground of Constitutional crisis. Following Soren’s refusal to sign the memo, ED officials took him to the Raj Bhawan(Governor's residence). 

But when he went there, top legislators from the ruling coalition were already there with him. Immediately after Soren stepped down as CM, Champai Soren staked claim to form the government. Prior to this, Champai Soren was elected as leader of JMM's legislative party. 

This put an end to speculation that Hemant Soren may pass the CM’s chair to his wife Kalpana. In fact, the opposition to the choice of Kalpana Soren as CM came from within the Soren family. 

Hemant Soren's step sister-in-law Sita, JMM MLA from Jama, had told news agency PTI that she would oppose any move to make Kalpana Soren the chief minister because she "has no political experience" and she was “ senior Bahu” in the family of senior Soren. 

Hemant Soren led party leadership was in no mood to risk a rift in the ranks at this critical point, and therefore went for the safer option - Shibu Soren's long-term aide, 67-year-old Champai Soren.  

Now, after winning the trust vote on floor of the house, Champai has made it clear that his is Hemant Soren government “2”. 

Against this backdrop,ex CM Soren will continue to govern Champai Sarkar using “remote control” mechanism.


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