Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, whose job is in trouble over corruption allegations, won a majority test he began in the meeting today amid allegations by the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)-led coalition that the BJP would try to control the government overturned by technical defects.
The opposition BJP, which protested during the proceedings of the special one-day session, walked out of the meeting just before the vote.
Hemant Soren, who spoke before the vote, accused the BJP of trying to create a “civil war-like situation” in the country by fomenting riots to win elections. He also claimed that his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma was involved in “buying Jharkhand MLAs” to topple his government.
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“The opposition has destroyed democracy. The BJP has surrendered to the horse-trading of lawmakers… We will show our strength in the house,” the Chief Minister said in the meeting against the background of slogans shouted by BJP MLAs.
“We’ve heard of people buying clothes, rations and groceries. But only the BJP is buying from lawmakers,” he claimed.
MLAs from the ruling coalition yesterday flew back to the capital Ranchi on a special flight from Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh, where they were held at a luxury resort to thwart alleged poaching attempts.
The MLAs spent the night together at the state pension and were brought directly to the meeting today.
Hemant Soren, who was asked why he wanted the confidence vote, told reporters: “Who will take a confidence vote? The opposition?”
He added: “The opposition has spread a web of conspiracies to bring me down. They will get trapped in the web of their own making.”
The BJP says Hemant Soren should be disqualified from MLA over allegations that he violated election standards by giving himself a mining lease. The party has called for new elections and has demanded that the Chief Minister resign “on moral grounds”.
Mr Soren and his party JMM have accused the BJP of trying to capitalize on the crisis and lure MLAs of the ruling coalition to cross over and overthrow the elected government, following the pattern in states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.
The Election Commission has presented its advice to the governor, who is expected to announce its decision on Mr. Soren every day.
The ruling coalition has 49 MLAs in the 81-member assembly in which the majority is 41. The JMM, the largest party, has 30 MLAs, Congress has 18, and Tejashwi Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has one.
The BJP, the main opposition, has 26 MLAs.