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Published On: Sun, Dec 29th, 2019

Show of Strength as Hemant Soren Takes Over as Jharkhand CM

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hemant_soren_660_291219052842RANCHI: Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Hemant Soren took oath as Jharkhand chief minister for a second time on Sunday at a grand ceremony attended by a galaxy of opposition leaders and regional satraps, in a show of unity that could be a harbinger of a broad-based anti-BJP alliance amid the uproar over the new citizenship law.
Attired in white kurta-pyjama ensemble and a Nehru jacket, the 44-year-old tribal leader was sworn in as the 11th chief minister of the state by Governor Droupadi Murmu.
The oath ceremony of the 11th Chief Minister of Jharkhand turned out an opportunity to showcase opposition unity – much like the oath of HD Kumaraswamy in Karnataka in May last year – following the huge majority won by the alliance. Sankalp Diwas (day of resolution) as the event was dubbed, was attended by most opposition leaders.
Among those in attendance were Congress leader Rahul Gandhi,  West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, her Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh counterparts Ashok Gehlot and Bhupesh Baghel, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, DMK leader M K Stalin, his sister Kanimozhi, and RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav.
They smiled broadly and shook hands at the bonhomie-filled event that heralded the advent of a JMM-Congress-RJD government, after the opposition coalition snatched yet another state from the BJP, barely months after its remarkable performance in the Lok Sabha elections.
Former assembly speaker and Congress leader Alamgir Alam, Jharkhand PCC president Rameshwar Oraon and RJD MLA Satyanand Bhokta were the other three ministers who took oath after Soren. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Soren on bring sworn in as the chief minister and assured of all possible support from the Centre for the state’s growth.
In a gesture of goodwill, outgoing chief minister Raghubar Das also attended the event. It is the second term for Soren, who had been a deputy chief minister and chief minister between 2009 and 2013. Alam and Oraon are first-time ministers, while Bhokta had been the agriculture minister in the BJP-led NDA governments between 2000 and 2005, before joining the RJD.
In the just-conducted Assembly elections, the JMM-Congress-Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) alliance triumphed over the BJP, winning 47 seats in the 81-member House. Four other MLAs – three from the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) and one from the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) have also extended support to the three-party coalition.
“I attended the swearing in ceremony of CM Hemant Soren Ji & ministers from the Congress party in Ranchi today. I’m confident that the new Govt in Jharkhand will work for the benefit of all citizens & usher in an era of peace & prosperity in the state (sic),” Rahul Gandhi tweeted after the event.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar, former President Pranab Mukherjee and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan tweeted congratulatory messages to Mr Soren.
Ahead of the event, Mr Soren thanked his voters for the huge mandate he received. “I understand your expectations from the new government. I want to invite all of you to the oath ceremony,” he said in a video he posted on Twitter.
A team of “specialists” from universities like Oxford and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), a creative social media campaign and a complete change of strategy helped script Hemant Soren’s comeback in the state. Mr Soren, who was Jharkhand’s fifth Chief Minister, has succeeded the BJP’s Raghubar Das, who created history of sorts by becoming the first Chief Minister of the state to complete a five-year term.
Son of Shibu Soren, one of the key figures in the statehood movement and a three-time Chief Minister, Hemant Soren made an early entry into politics.
From 2009 to 2013, he was the deputy of Chief Minister Arjun Munda, when the party supported the BJP-led government. Central rule was declared in the state after the JMM withdrew support in January 2013. In July, Hemant Soren took over as the Chief Minister, the youngest ever, at the age of 38 years.
(Bureau Report with Agency Inputs ).


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