Office of profit case: J"khand CM’s counsels seek from EC copy of letter sent to Guv

  • | Friday | 16th September, 2022

Ranchi, Sep 16 (PTI) Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren"s counsels have sought from the Election Commission a copy of its letter sent to Governor Ramesh Bais, carrying its opinion on the JMM leader’s office of profit case, an official source said on Friday.The development came against the backdrop of Soren rushing to Delhi after calling on Bais on Thursday, during which he urged him to clear the confusion prevailing in the state for the last three weeks over his continuation as an MLA because of the case.He had also sought from the governor a copy of the EC’s communication."Kindly furnish the copy of the Opinion at the earliest to enable our client to take necessary action in accordance with law," Soren"s counsels said in their letter to the EC.Following a petition by the BJP seeking Soren’s disqualification from the Assembly in an office of profit case, the EC sent its decision to the state Governor on August 25, sparking a political crisis in the state.Though the EC’s decision has not yet been made official, there is a buzz that the poll panel has recommended the chief minister’s disqualification as an MLA in connection with a mining lease.In the letter to the EC secretary, the CM’s advocates Vaibhav Tomar and Malak Bhat said that after a notice was issued by the poll panel, Soren had appeared through his counsel and the matter was argued before it on August 8 and 12 while its order was reserved on August 12."We are...requesting for a copy of the Opinion tendered by the Election Commission of India to the Hon"ble Governor of the state of Jharkhand (recording the outcome of the Enquiry)…,” the letter read.PTI is in possession of a copy of the advocates’ letter to the EC.Meanwhile, Soren held a “courtesy meeting” with senior Congress leader P Chidambaram in the national capital, the Jharkhand CMO said in a Twitter post.Citing two Supreme Court judgments, Soren had on Thursday asserted that by taking a mining lease, a legislator does not become eligible for disqualification under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.On September 1, the Governor assured a ruling UPA delegation that he would clear the air over the EC’s recommendation in two to three days, the chief minister said.The next day, Bais left for New Delhi “for a medical check-up” and returned on September 8. However, he did not say anything on the issue since he came back to Ranchi from the national capital.Soren has alleged that amid the suspense, the BJP is trying to gain power unethically as it is using the state of confusion to convince MLAs of the ruling coalition to defect.Earlier in a joint statement on August 28, UPA constituents had accused Bais of encouraging political horse-trading by “deliberately delaying” announcing the decision of the EC.The UPA claims that disqualification of the CM as an MLA will not affect the government, as the ruling JMM-Congress-RJD coalition enjoys an absolute majority in the 81-member House.The JMM, the largest party, has 30 MLAs, the Congress 18 legislators, and the RJD one. The main opposition BJP has 26 MLAs in the House. PTI NAM NN NN

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