Jharkhand CM Soren dares ED, Centre to Arrest him

3 November, 2022 | Pranay Lad

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Hemant Soren, the chief minister of Jharkhand, urged the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to detain him rather than call him for interrogation on Thursday.

Soren was scheduled to appear before the ED on Thursday at its Ranchi regional office, but he chose not to go. Before departing for Raipur to attend a tribal festival hosted by the Chhattisgarh government, Soren spoke to Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) members outside his official house. He advised them to be ready for a protracted political battle against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

As his party workers chanted in support of him, Soren said, “I have been summoned by ED today when I already have a programme in Chhattisgarh today. If I have committed a crime that big, come and arrest me. Why the questioning?… Security near the ED office has increased. Why, are you scared of the people of Jharkhand?”

According to Soren, the federal agency is attempting to scare them by flexing its muscles as part of a bigger plot to topple his administration, which received a historic mandate in 2019.

“A few outside gangs that are preventing the state’s Adivasis from standing on their own feet have been discovered. Instead of being ruled by outside powers, this state would be ruled by Jharkhandis… In the next Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, BJP would be completely destroyed,” added Soren.

Soren told his people to return to the countryside and reveal the “plot of the BJP” to topple their administration, urging them to be prepared for a political battle.

“We have not yet taken any action. Toh wo din door nahi jahaan aap logon ko yahaan sar chhupaane ka mauka bhi nahi milega, Jab Jharkhandi apni cheezo pe utar aayega,” he said.

In addition, Soren urged the Gujarati Adivasis to ensure that the BJP loses every tribal seat in the forthcoming general elections.

Hemant Soren, the chief minister of Jharkhand, was called to testify before the ED on Thursday in connection with an inquiry into potential violations of the 1951 Representation of the People Act and a money laundering case involving unauthorised mining in the Sahebganj area.