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Hemant Soren resigns as Jharkhand CM after ED questioning

Hemant Soren, who has been chief minister of Jharkhand from December 2019 to January 2024, is facing serious charges in the money laundering case related to a land deal. The resignation comes ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Raju Kumar Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 Ranchi Updated on: January 31, 2024 23:00 IST
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren hands over his
Image Source : ANI Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren hands over his resignation to the Governor

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, who was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate officials at his Residence in Ranchi in a money laundering case related to a land deal, resigned from his post on Wednesday. In rapidly unfolding events, Soren was arrested by the ED after being questioned at his residence. He went to the Governor House with the ED officials to hand over the resignation. 

Jharkhand Minister and JMM leader Mithilesh Thakur said the alliance picked JMM leader Champai Soren for the chief minister post.

Who is the next Jharkhand CM?

Champai Soren, who is a seven-time MLA, represents the Seraikella constituency in Jharkhand. He served as an Independent MLA before joining the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM). Champai Soren is currently serving as the minister of transport in the Jharkhand government. He was an active part of the movement for separate statehood of Jharkhand. He rose to prominence during the state movement and is fondly called as the 'Jharkhand Tiger'.

ED questions Soren in money laundering case

Soren was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case on Wednesday in his official residence for more than seven hours amid heavy security cover and high political drama.

Earlier in the day, Soren lodged an FIR against ED personnel over searches conducted by the agency at his Delhi residence on Monday, officials said.

Soren alleged that the ED conducted the search to "harass and malign him and his entire community", the officials said, quoting the FIR.

Soren, 48, who is also the executive president of the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), was previously questioned on January 20 in connection with the case.

The interrogation, however, remained incomplete on that day when he was grilled for more than seven hours, an official said.

Soren is being questioned as part of an investigation into a "huge racket of illegal change of land ownership by the mafia" in Jharkhand, according to officials from the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

What is the case?

The ED has so far arrested 14 people in the case, including 2011-batch IAS officer Chhavi Ranjan who served as the director of the state's Social Welfare Department and deputy commissioner of Ranchi. An employee of the Jharkhand land revenue department, Bhanu Prasad Prasad, was also arrested by the agency in the case. The ED investigation pertains to "huge amounts of proceeds of crime generated by manipulation of official records by showing dummy sellers and purchasers in the guise of forged/ bogus documents to acquire huge parcels of land having value in crores''.

Also read: Jharkhand: Who is Champai Soren? 5 facts about the JMM leader who will replace Hemant Soren

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