Jharkhand Mukti Morcha president Hemant Soren will take oath as the eleventh Chief Minister of Jharkhand this afternoon at a mega oath ceremony in Ranchi after the JMM-Congress-RJD alliance won a clear majority in the state elections earlier this week. This is the second time that Mr Soren will take oath as the chief minister of the state and today’s event is expected to turn into a show of opposition unity where leaders across political spectrum will be present.
Governor Droupadi Murmu will administer the oath of office and secrecy to Mr Soren at 2 pm at Morabadi Ground. The event has been dubbed as “Sankalp Diwas” (day of resolution) to usher the state into a new era, said the chief minister’s office.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, former President Pranab Mukherjee, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav will be attending the event, according to an official statement.
Among others who are attending the event are chief ministers of five states – West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
On Monday, the JMM-Congress-Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) alliance won 47 seats in the 81-seat assembly, well ahead of the majority mark.
Mr Soren, who was Jharkhand’s fifth Chief Minister, would be succeeding the BJP’s Raghubar Das. Mr Das was the first Chief Minister in the state to complete a five-year term but the BJP’s tally came down to 25 this time.
A team of “specialists” from universities like Oxford and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), a creative social media campaign and a complete change of strategy helped script Hemant Soren’s comeback in the state.
The son of Shibu Soren, one of the key figures in the statehood movement and a two-time Chief Minister, Hemant Soren made an early entry into politics. From 2009 to 2013, he was the deputy of Chief Minister Arjun Munda, when the party supported the BJP-led government. Central rule was declared in the state after the JMM withdrew support in January 2013. In July, Hemant Soren took over as the Chief Minister, the country’s youngest, at the age of 38 years.
In his 17-month tenure, Hemant Soren was known for bringing progressive policies like 50 per cent reservation in government jobs for women, and played an instrumental part in tackling the Maoist insurgency in Saranda, West Singhbhum through a mix of development initiatives and security measures.
Since its formation in 2000, Jharkhand had nine governments and three stints of President’s Rule.