The political temperature in Jharkhand has risen after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday summoned Chief Minister Hemant Soren for questioning in connection with a money laundering case pertaining to illegal mining and extortion.
“Soren has been called to join the investigation for Thursday. He will have to appear at our Ranchi office by 11 a.m. tomorrow,” an ED source said.
In this case, the ED has raided more than 30 places since May.
The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has reacted strongly to the summons, calling it a conspiracy to destabilise the democratically elected government.
The party has called a “Halla Bol” rally in Ranchi on Thursday. It is believed that JMM has prepared for a show of strength against ED’s action through this rally.
JMM leader Manoj Pandey has said that all this is happening under the “politics of revenge” of the Centre’s BJP government.
He added that if Soren is being summoned in the mining case, then the Prime Minister should also be summoned for the various disturbances happening in the country.
BJP leaders, meanwhile, have welcomed the ED summon.
Jharkhand BJP president Deepak Prakash said: “The law will not spare the one who does wrong… people of Jharkhand are aware that Soren took the illegal mining lease in the name of his press advisors, his key colleague MLA Pankaj Mishra and his wife.”
Leader of Opposition in the legislative Assembly, Babulal Marandi tweeted that Soren will be the first CM to appear for questioning in front of the ED under charges of scam and robbery.