Editorial: ED’s Checkmate Dilemma

Editorial: ED’s Checkmate Dilemma

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Thursday, February 01, 2024, 09:42 PM IST
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Enforcement Directorate | File Pic

Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, known for his “adherence to norms”, recently showcased his commitment by turning the Enforcement Directorate's (ED) arrest plan into a bureaucratic maze. In a move reminiscent of a political chess match, Soren resigned from his post before consenting to be arrested, ensuring all official boxes were ticked. The ED's anticipation of a prolonged 10-day interrogation faced an unexpected setback. Soren, with a blend of wit and nonchalance, transformed his Raj Bhavan visit into a casual "discussion" rather than the intense interrogation the ED had in mind. After all, he was there as the Governor's guest, not the ED's.

The court, however, didn't align with the ED's aspirations, granting only a one-day remand instead of the customary acceptance of the ED's initial demands. A hiccup for the ED, as its usual success rate faced an unforeseen setback. As the legal drama unfolds, the ED alleges Soren's involvement in money laundering. Accusations may come easy, but proving them is another story, a truth well-known to the ED with its less-than-stellar conviction record. Soren's strategic move to appoint a seasoned JMM veteran, Champai Soren, dubbed the tiger of Jharkhand, as his successor appears calculated to secure both political favour and votes.

Soren's initial plan, akin to Laloo Yadav and Rabri Devi's playbook, was to position his wife as his political heir. However, he eventually opted for a seasoned JMM figure, a move likely to bolster his standing in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Arrest, a potential tarnish on a politician's reputation, might transform into political glory if the ED fails to substantiate its charges. The real game begins only when the ED proves its case, and until then, the political arena remains an intriguing battleground.

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