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Congress & JMM to field a consensus candidate for Rajya Sabha elections, says Hemant Soren

|HT|


Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren on Sunday met Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi to hold deliberations on the Rajya Sabha polls in the state. After his 75-minute long meeting with Gandhi, Soren told media that both parties have decided to field a consensus candidate for the elections to the two seats of Rajya Sabha on June 10. The final decision and announcement will be made from Ranchi. The chief minister denied reports of rift within the Congress-JMM alliance which came to power after defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2019. The Jharkhand chief minister is under fire from the opposition over a case pertaining to alleged irregularities in the grant of mining lease. When questioned, Soren accused the BJP of vendetta.

“Just like Aryan Khan, who was found to be the victim of a made up case, that’s how I see the Enforcement Directorate case against me. Neither on ED’s site or publicly, have they been able to say what they have found or the progress of the case,” Soren said.

“The ED is investigating the MGNREGA scam in two districts of the state. I don't understand how the agency officials have have done so without even visiting those places or questioning relevant officials. They don’t want to probe deeper, they just want to use to their ends,” he added.Soren further attacked the BJP, saying that just like the excavations at Mohenjodaro, the BJP is interested in digging temples and mosques. “This case is 14 years old. They are interested in 500-year-old cases,” he added. Soren defended saying that his government hasn't auctioned either the iron or major minerals since coming to power, claiming that the Centre owes the state dues of up to ₹1.36 lakh crores over the last 20 years. “All the mine owners are non-Jharkhandis,” he added.

Soren also raised the issue of caste census, stating that the tribals do deserve a special status. “Jharkhand adivasis have asserted status as ‘Sarna Khot ‘. We should have a separate column aside from STs like Jains do,” he added.

He also alleged the non-payment of funds under MGNREGA for the period between December 2021 and March this year. “The BJP is just trying to paint us in poor light so that they don’t see the facts. The GST issue shouldn’t close. You have left limited resources to states,” he added. Hemant Soren jabbed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his speech in which he said that his government had neither done anything nor allowed any such thing to happen even by mistake which could lead to the citizens hang their heads in shame. “If people could raise their heads, they would then lower it in shame. People don’t have food to eat. They can’t intimidate us. We overthrew them as opposition and now we are in power,” he added.


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