Jharkhand CM Seeks 3 Weeks’ Time To Join ED Investigation

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Jharkhand CM Seeks 3 Weeks’ Time To Join ED Investigation
Jharkhand CM Seeks 3 Weeks’ Time To Join ED Investigation

Ranchi (Jharkhand): Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has sought three weeks’ time from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to appear before the agency for his questioning in the illegal mining case.

Talking about the petition, senior Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Supriyo Bhattacharya said, “…Yes, definitely we have sought time till November 23 because he cannot go and appear before ED right now.”

“Chief Minister always has a pre-planned schedule. We informed ED about the entire schedule – State Foundation Day on November 15 and the anniversary of our State Assembly on November 22-23. Government events will continue. We have informed them of the schedule till November 23,” he further added.

ED had sent a notice to Chief Minister Soren and he was asked to come to the zonal office of the agency today to answer queries of the agency. But Soren did not turn up and sent a time petition to the federal agency.

As per sources, the ED has not given any response as to when the agency intends to call him in the wake of the request made by him.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Soren said ED is free to arrest him if the central agency feels that he had done some grave crime.

“Do you feel I am a thief that I will appear before them today if they summoned me yesterday? We had decided to attend this (National Tribal Dance Festival) as per invitation…If they feel it is a grave crime, they can arrest me directly..” Soren told reporters here.

Hemant Soren on Thursday challenged the ED to arrest him instead of sending summons to him for questioning.

Soren on Thursday was to appear before the ED in its regional office in Ranchi but he skipped his visit. Addressing the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) workers outside his official residence before leaving for Raipur to attend a tribal festival being organized by the Chhattisgarh government, Soren urged his party workers to be prepared for a long political fight against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“I have been summoned by ED today when I already have a programme in Chhattisgarh today. If I have committed a crime that big, come and arrest me. Why the questioning?… Security near the ED office has increased. Why, are you scared of people of Jharkhand?” said Soren, amidst heavy sloganeering in support from his party workers.

Soren said the federal agency, as a part of a larger conspiracy to destabilize his government which got a historic mandate in 2019, is trying to intimidate them by showing muscle power.

“We have identified a few external gangs in the state who are not letting the state’s Adivasis stand on their feet. This state will have the rule of Jharkhandis and not external forces… BJP will be wiped out in the upcoming Lok Sabha and Assembly polls,” Soren added.

Urging his workers to be ready for a political fight, Soren said they need to go back to villages and expose the “conspiracy of the BJP” to destabilize their government.

“We have not done anything yet. ‘Jab Jharkhandi apni cheezo pe utar aayega, toh wo din door nahi jahaan aap logon ko yahaan sar chhupaane ka mauka bhi nahi milega,” he said.
Soren also gave a call to the Adivasis of Gujarat to ensure that the BJP loses all tribal seats in the upcoming assembly elections.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren was summoned by ED on Thursday for investigation over contravention of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and in a money laundering probe linked to an illegal mining case in the Sahebganj district.

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