Hemant Soren: From Jharkhand's youngest CM to a seasoned politician

He is currently in the eye of the storm in the wake of a crisis situation in Jharkhand where a threat to Hemant Soren being "disqualified" as an MLA has arisen.

PTIUpdated: Saturday, August 27, 2022, 06:23 PM IST
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Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren | File photo

In the midst of a political storm, Chief Minister Hemant Soren who may well lose his seat in Jharkhand's Assembly has had a chequered career.

Not the first choice of his father Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) supremo Shibu Soren for inheriting his political legacy, Hemant Soren was groomed in politics after his elder brother Durga Soren died of suspected kidney failure in 2009.

He is currently in the eye of the storm in the wake of a crisis situation in Jharkhand where a threat to Hemant Soren being "disqualified" as an MLA has arisen.

On Friday, Soren lashed out at the Centre for "unleashing" all constitutional agencies to "de-stabilise a democratically elected government", saying all "satanic forces" were all out to execute evil designs.

Born to Shibu Soren and wife Roopi on August 10, 1975 at Nemra village near Hazaribag, he did his intermediate from Patna High School and later joined Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra in Ranchi, but dropped out.

He likes badminton, books and bicycles.

Hemant and wife Kalpana have two children.

He went on to become a Rajya Sabha member in 2009-2010, before becoming Jharkhand's youngest chief minister in 2013, with the support of the Congress and the RJD.

Soren had resigned from the Upper House to take up the post of deputy chief minister in the BJP-led Arjun Munda regime. But two years later, the BJP-JMM bonhomie collapsed and president's rule was imposed in the state.

His first stint as CM was, however, short-lived as the BJP seized power in 2014 in the politically unstable state and Raghubar Das took charge.

In 2014, he won a seat in the Jharkhand assembly and became the leader of the opposition.

Cornered during the 2014-19 period, with the saffron party accusing him and his family of violating the Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act, Soren took time but patiently overcame the challenge and formed pre-poll alliance with old friends - the Congress and the RJD.

With support from his allies, Soren stormed to power in 2019, as his party (JMM) alone won 30 Assembly seats, its highest tally ever.

During his political ascendency, Soren was able to sideline senior leaders of the JMM, Stephen Marandi, Simon Marandi and Hemlal Murmu, prompting them to quit the party.

While Murmu and Simon Marandi joined the BJP, Stephen Marandi floated a party along with the first BJP chief minister of the state, Babulal Marandi.

Stephen had later returned to the JMM fold, accepting Hemant Soren as the party's leader.

Soren has been widely credited with launching innovative schemes that include 'Apke Adhikar, Apki Sarkar, Apke Dwar' (your rights, your government at your doorstep).

He also announced a cashback of Rs 25 per litre on petrol for the poor and lower-middle-class two-wheeler users starting January 26 this year.

A few days ago, he announced expanding overseas scholarships for talented youth of the state to fulfil their dreams of pursuing higher studies abroad.

The state Cabinet earlier this week gave its nod for creation of 50,000 posts of teachers.

Active on social media, Soren has been voicing not only grievances against the Centre that included 'apathy towards state in alloting vaccines' and 'Central firms owing huge Rs 1.36 lakh crore to the state' but has also been directing officials to resolve peoples' complaints.

Jharkhand was the first state to have airlifted trapped migrant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In December, he went all guns blazing on the BJP and said that his government was forced to enact anti-mob lynching legislation after the "Ravana" party came to power at Centre, "ruining the social fabric" of the country.

In a setback to Soren, the BJP in February this year alleged that Soren, while heading the mining department, allotted a stone chips mining lease to himself in 2021 in Ranchi's Argora area, by flouting norms.

The BJP accused Soren of allocating a mining lease to himself and close aides, including political advisor Pankaj Mishra.

Mishra is in judicial custody after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested him following raids conducted to unearth alleged illegal mining in the state.

In April, Advocate General Rajiv Ranjan told the Jharkhand High Court that the state government had committed "a mistake" and the lease awarded to Soren had been surrendered.

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