The Governor of Jharkhand received a “secret envelope” from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on August 25 suggesting that Chief Minister Hemant Soren be removed from the stature of an MLA for breaching electoral norms in context to the illegal mining case.
The EC has also suggested shifting the coalition MLA’s to more “friendly states” like West Bengal and Chhattisgarh. Several districts from Chhattisgarh like Barmuda and Raipur have been identified to meet the purpose.
As the political scenario in Jharkhand has gone rogue, legislators from the ruling party held a meeting to build a strategy to cope with the emerging scenario. All MLA’s belonging to the ruling party are attending the meeting along with their luggage.
“All ruling MLAs will be sent to a single destination if the need arises. All the MLAs have come with their luggage to the CM’s house to attend the crucial meeting which is underway,” said a source to the Mint.
The strategy to send the politicians away to another state comes from the concept of “resort politics.” Resort politics refers to the desperate measure of assembling the leaders at a particular venue under a trusted party member to ensure none of the members are poached.
Sources state the MLAs in Jharkhand fell back on resort politics to make sure the MLAs are not poached by the saffron party.
JD(U) national secretary general K C Tyagi told TOI that the BJP’s strategy of “dethroning” elected governments like done in Maharashtra, Punjab, Goa and Madhya Pradesh created a sense of fear especially among tribal leaders. Hence, sending the MLAs to other states might be the right decision to avoid poaching.
Actions regarding the Jharkhand Government is yet to be taken as the Governor is awaiting the ECI’s order.
The petitioner of the case, BJP, voiced that the chief minister was in violation of Section 9 (A) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, for the disqualification of government contracts.
The clause for the disqualification of the MLA states, “a person shall be disqualified if, and for so long as, there subsists a contract entered into by him in the course of his trade or business with the appropriate government for the supply of goods to, or for the execution of any works undertaken by, that government”.
The ruling party alliance consisted of 49 MLAs in the 81-member Assembly, while the BJP has 26 MLAs in the Assembly.
Sources from the Raj Bhavan told the Mint that the ECI might take a decision by the evening and send them to the commission.