Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) MLA Ramdas Soren has accused its own former party leader of attempting to topple the Hemant Soren led JMM-Congress-government in Jharkhand. The Ghatsila MLA has lodged an FIR against Ravi Kejriwal and Ashok Agrawal at Dhurwa police station in Ranchi.
Ravi Kejriwal served as treasurer of the JMM till he was sacked from the post and expelled from the party for six years in August last year. Ravi Kejriwal is said to be used to manage business and financial interests of the Shibu Soren family and he enjoyed the status and confidence as the right hand of Shibu Soren and Hemant Soren. He was not less than a friend of Hemant Soren. It is apparent that his removal was not driven by any political reason. But none in the JMM talk as to when and why and when their relation worsened. Ashok Agrawal is said to be the business friend of Ravi Kejriwal.
This is the second such FIR in the last three months lodged by any MLA of the ruling alliance specifically alleging that attempts are being made to pull down the Hemant Soren government. In July when Congress Bermo MLA Jaimangal Singh had lodged the FIR police had arrested three persons who are by profession fruit seller, petty contractor and casual labourer respectively.
On July 22, Congress’ Bermo MLA Jaimangal Singh lodged an FIR at Kotwali police station that some powerbrokers are contacting MLAs to topple the government. Police arrested Amit Singh (casual labourer), Abhishek Kumar Dubey (petty contractor) and Nivaran Prasad Mahto (fruit seller) for hatching conspiracy against the Hemant Soren government with a Maharashtra based politician. Police claimed that they had travelled to Delhi along with two Congress MLAs and an Independent to negotiate the deal with BJP’s Maharashtra based politician Chandrashekhar Rao Babankule and Charan Singh. This FIR had come at a time when Congress MLAs had turned critical about the performances and policies of the government.
Reminding the previous case the BJP said that when the Congress party and MLAs were unhappy with the government a similar case was lodged. “I dare chief minister Hemant Soren to order an enquiry of both the cases by a sitting High Court judge. I don’t know why the government plays the same script every time? He should hire a better script writer,” Jharkhand BJP president Deepak Prakash told OpIndia.
The FIR was lodged on October 12 under section 124 A (sedition), 171 E (bribery), 120 B (party to the criminal conspiracy) and 34 (act done by several persons) of IPC and section 8 and 9 of Prevention of Corruption Act on complaint of Ramdas Soren. Hatia DSP Vineet Kumar has been assigned the investigation.
“Many MLAs in the JMM and the UPA alliance may not be happy with the chief minister. This case is a signal that you are being watched if you are unhappy. The kind of majority Hemant Soren enjoys in the assembly it is very difficult for the BJP or anybody to split the JMM and the Congress. Let the police investigate but the interesting fact is that this time the finger has been raised on Ravi Kejriwal. After all Ravi remained a loyalist of the Shibu Soren family all these years,” said a former JMM leader.
The MLA has alleged that in the first week of October, Ravi Kejriwal and Ashok had visited his residence with an offer to split the JMM to topple the Hemant Soren government. The MLA also said that Ravi Kejriwal also spoke to him over phone a couple of times.
“Ravi Kejriwal offered me money and ministerial post in return. He said that me there is a plan to form the government in Jharkhand with the help of the BJP. He said that he is talking to other MLAs also and they are ready to pay any amount,” the MLA told the media.
The JMM spokesperson Suprio Bhattacharya accused the BJP of trying to dislodge the Hemant Soren government. “We are alert and aware that attempts are being made to disturb the government. If the BJP believes that it can execute the conspiracy with the help of some traitors then I feel pity,” he said.
The BJP rubbished the allegation and termed it a state managed stunt. “This is a sponsored sensation created by the government to divert attention from the real issues since the government has failed on every front. Also whenever there is dispute in the JMM and the ruling alliance this kind of sensation is created. People want to know the status of the case lodged by Jaimangal Singh where the Congress MLAs were specifically targeted,” said former MLA and Jharkhand BJP spokesperson Kunal Sarangi told OpIndia.
Few days back Shibu Soren’s granddaughters Rajshree Soren and Jaishree Soren formed Durga Sena in the name of their father late Durga Soren. Durga Soren was pegged as the political heir of his father Shibu Soren but unfortunately he died due to prolonged illness in 2009. Durga Soren’s wife Sita Soren is also a JMM MLA and she has been very critical to the government on different issues.
In this case Ranchi police has not yet filed a chargesheet. But the nondescript background of three accused fuelled suspicion whether such persons can be the part of such a high profile game. The case brought embarrassment for the Congress as selective leaks were made that the accused and others had contacted as many as nine Congress MLAs their plan was going in the right direction.
The government relented after AICC secretary and Congress’ Mahagama MLA Deepika Pandey Singh after she threatened against character assassination of Congress MLAs.