Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Hemant Soren is all set to become 11th Chief Minister of Jharkhand with JMM's pre-poll alliance with Congress and RJD looking good for a clear majority in the state. Soren himself contested the election on 2 seats -- Dumka and Barhait. While in Barhait, Soren has taken a decisive lead, in Dumka he is facing a tough fight against BJP's Lois Marandi who leads by 400 votes.
Who is Hemant Soren?
Hemant Soren is a former Chief Minister of Jharkhand. He served in the CM office between 13 July 2013 and 28 December 2014, after the President's rule was invoked in the state.
Soren is the son of 3-time former CM of Jharkhand, Shibu Soren. The former did his schooling from Patna High School before getting enrolled in BIT Mesra, Ranchi in Mechanical Engineering. Hemant, however, did not finish the course.
Soren was also a member of Rajya Sabha from June 2009 to January 2010.
Most of Hemant's major political achievements, though, came as the leader of opposition in Jharkhand. In 2016, the BJP government in Jharkhand tried amending the Chhota Nagpur Tenancy Act and the Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act which would allow owners and tenants of Adivasi land to use it for non-agricultural purposes and the other would allow transfer of Adivasi land for building roads, canals, educational institutions, hospitals, and other "government purposes". This led to huge protests in the state and Hemant had strongly protested against these amendments.
CM Raghubar Das had invited Hemant to the Global Investors Summit in 2017, but Hemant called the summit a "maha chintan shivir of land grabbers" and claimed that it is being organised to loot the land of Adivasis, Moolvasis and the farmers of the state.
He has been a vocal protester of the Direct Benefit Transfer in PDS and recently, voiced his concerns on how the scheme has caused tremendous suffering and injustice. In April 2018, a JMM delegation led by Hemant Soren and his father Shibu Soren met the Hon'ble President Ramnath Kovind registering a strong protest on the dilution of the SC/ST by the Supreme Court and proposed amendments to the LARR Bill by the Jharkhand government.
In March 2018, Hemant Soren met Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao regarding a possible non-Congress and non-BJP front should be formed in the country. However, he also attended a dinner hosted by UPA Chaiperson Sonia Gandhi where the agenda was to discuss a broader front against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of the 2019 general elections.
He supports the call for banning liquor in Jharkhand on the footsteps of Bihar. In response to the entry of liquor retail outlets in the state, he said “Now government will open liquor outlets in villages, which will ultimately impact the lives of poor tribals in Jharkhand. I appeal to the rural residents of the state to not allow liquor outlets in their villages.” He added womens organizations would have to come forward to launch a struggle against government’s liquor campaign.