Call it a bad news for the BJP. Champai Soren is not going to be replaced by Kaplana Soren, wife of ex-CM Hemant Soren as Chief Minister in Jharkhand, it is learnt.

Champai Soren is performing his responsibility in accordance with the need and requirements of the state as well as the party ( JMM) and its INDIA block, said a senior JMM leader. 

Before and after Kalpana Soren won the Gandey assembly by-poll by defeating her nearest rival, the BJP’s Dilip Kumar Verma, by 27,149 votes, speculations were high that the Soren family aspired to make her the CM by asking Champai to step down in her favour. This turned out to be far away from the reality due to two reasons. 

One,suspicion that if she is made to take oath of office of the CM,a faction of the ruling JMM led by Champai Soren can rebel. Even within the Soren family, Basant Soren, younger brother of ex CM Hemant Soren, who is Minister,’may’ not accept his Bhabhi Kalpana Soren as CM. 

Two, since the Assembly polls are expected to be held in November- December 2024, less than six months are left to complete the tenure of the CM. 

“For such a short period, the party stalwarts are not inclined to bring about change in the format of the Champai Soren government”, explained another JMM leader.  

JMM’s Kalpana Murmu Soren has emerged as a star campaigner for the JMM in the Lok Sabha elections 2024 after her husband’s arrest by the Enforcement Directorate 31 January this year in an alleged land scam case. 

The Gandey seat fell vacant on 31 December last year — exactly a month before Hemant Soren’s arrest— after the sudden resignation of JMM legislator Sarfaraz Ahmed on 30 December 2023, citing personal reasons. Ahmed was later elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha 14 March. 

Another point to take note of is that Kalpana Soren, who was involved in ticket distribution and had attended INDIA bloc rallies in Mumbai, Delhi, and Ranchi, has again played an emotional card again on Friday when she said that she will leave no stone unturned “to fulfill the dream” of her husband Hemant Soren who is currently in jail on charges of money laundering connected with a land scam. 

She however has not explained what we’re Hemant Soren’s dreams that she wants to fulfil.

In any case, Champai Soren was made the chief minister after Hemant Soren resigned minutes before he was arrested on January 31. 

In the 2019 assembly polls, the party had lost its foothold and government in Jharkhand, largely because the tribal electorate did not support Raghubar Das, the state’s first non-tribal chief minister, who had made a move forward to amend the CNT Act and Santhal Pargana Land Tenancy Act . 

These Acts enacted by the British government in early 19 th century, prohibit transfer of tribal land ownership to non- tribals. Raghubar Das government got relevant Bills passed by Jharkhand Assembly to amend these Acts. 

The then Governor Draupadi Murmu who is now President of India talked to several stake holders and tribal leaders who were protesting against Raghubar Das government move and refused to approve these Bills. 

JMM projected it as their ‘victory’. During the campaigning for candidates in the recently concluded LS polls, JMM leaders and Congress star campaigner Rahul Gandhi warned tribals not to vote for the anti-Adivasi BJP. 

BJP again suffered a significant setback, losing all five Scheduled Tribe (ST) reserved seats in the state. 

This time, the January arrest of then chief minister Hemant Soren in an alleged land scam by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), a central agency, appears to have deeply angered the tribal communities, their discontent reflecting in the vote against the BJP in the ST seats. 

Soren’s arrest had snowballed into a significant issue in the run-up to the four-phase Lok Sabha polls in Jharkhand, particularly given the Santhal tribal leader’s rising popularity since assuming the chief ministerial office in November 2019. 

The INDIA bloc, of which Soren’s Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) is a constituent, seized the opportunity, dubbing it as the “framing of an innocent tribal leader”.


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