JMM working president Hemant Soren was sworn in as the 11th Chief Minister of Jharkhand here on Sunday. The oath was administered by Governor Draupadi Murmu at the sprawling Morabadi Ground in Ranchi.
Two MLAs from the Congress – Alamgir Alam and Rameshwar Oraon and one from the RJD – Satyanand Bhokta also took oath as ministers in the Soren Cabinet.
A galaxy of leaders from the non-NDA camp witnessed the swearing-in ceremony. Hemant, the younger son of JMM patriarch Shibu Soren, personally drove his vehicle before coming to the venue. Flanked by his wife Kalpana, he first drove to senior Soren’s residence and sought his parents’ blessings.
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, CPI leader D Raja, CPM veteran Sitaram Yechury, DMK leaders Stalin, T R Baalu and Kanimozhi also graced the occasion. AAP Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh, former MP Sharad Yadav, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, his Chhattisgarh counterpart BS Baghel were other notable dignitaries present on the occasion.
The Mahagatbandhan, comprising the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Congress and the RJD swept to power in the Assembly elections after the alliance won 47 seats in the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly on December 23. While the JMM won 30 seats, the Congress and the RJD bagged 16 and one seat respectively. While 41 is the halfway mark for a majority in the Assembly, Hemant, however, drove down to former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi’s house soon after the result and sought his blessings to run the new government. Marandi, who is the first CM of Jharkhand, but has floated his own outfit Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) after quitting the BJP, assured his party’s three MLAs’ unconditional support to Soren.
Besides these 50 MLAs, Soren also got the support of three more legislators – Saryu Rai, an Independent, who defeated former Chief Minister Raghubar Das in Jamshedpur East, Vinod Singh of CPI-ML and NCP MLA Kamlesh Kumar Singh.
Sources in the JMM told Deccan Herald that the Soren Cabinet is likely to be expanded after Makar Sankranti on January 15, when the auspicious period starts.
Know the Jharkhand Chief Minister and His Ministers:
Hemant Soren: First became an MLA from Dumka in 2009. Was made Deputy Chief Minister in 2010 in Arjun Munda Govt when BJP and JMM joined hands. Took over as CM in July 2013. Having studied till Class XIIth, Hemant, on December 29, 2019, took oath as CM for the second time.
Alamgir Alam: A veteran Congress legislator from Pakur, he was earlier Speaker of the Jharkhand Assembly. Has served as Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader too. Priyanka Gandhi especially campaigned for Alam in Pakur after PM Modi tried to polarise votes in the last phase.
Rameshwar Oraon: An IPS officer-turned-politician, he is president of the Jharkhand Congress and a prominent tribal face of the grand old party. Took VRS from police service and became Congress MP from Lohardagga in 2004. Retained his LS seat in 2009. Earlier served as Union Minister in UPA-I.
Satyanand Bhokta: He is the sole RJD MLA who romped home this Assembly election in Jharkhand. Having won from Naxal-infested Chatra constituency, Bhokta has served as Agriculture Minister in previous Jharkhand regime as he was earlier with the BJP before switching over to Marandi’s JVM. In 2019, he joined the RJD bandwagon.