Not inviting Champai Soren to form Jharkhand govt is contempt of Constitution: Cong

Nails are being hammered in the coffin of Indian democracy by His Excellencies: Mallikarjun Kharge on X

A gathering of JMM workers and ministers on 30 Jan (photo: @HemantSorenJMM/X)
A gathering of JMM workers and ministers on 30 Jan (photo: @HemantSorenJMM/X)


The Congress on Thursday questioned the delay in inviting Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Champai Soren to head the government in Jharkhand despite his having the support of 48 MLAs, and alleged that this amounts to contempt of the Constitution and denial of the public mandate.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge shared a video of Jharkhand MLAs of the Congress and JMM, and accused governors of hammering nails in the coffin of Indian democracy.

"In the House of 81 MLAs, only 41 form a majority. Despite having the support of 48 MLAs, not inviting Champai Soren ji to form the government is clearly contempt of the Constitution and denial of public mandate," he said in a post in Hindi on X.

"Nails are being hammered in the coffin of Indian democracy by His Excellencies," Kharge said, alluding to the role of governors in states.

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said this is yet another example of political injustice "for which the Prime Minister and Home Minister duo are considered experts".

"By doing what is called 'Horse-Trading' in English, they are being given time only for that. This is not only injustice but also murder of democracy," Ramesh said in a post in Hindi on X.

Party leader Abhishek Singhvi asked whether the Centre wants to impose President's rule in Jharkhand. Addressing a press conference, Singhvi and party leader Saptgiri Ulaka asked whether the governor was waiting for some instructions from the prime minister's and Union home minister's office.

"The silence is eloquent," Singhvi said, pointing out that the numbers made it clear that the ruling JMM-led alliance has 47/48 members, while the combined opposition has 32/33 members in the Jharkhand assembly.

"Does it require some rocket science to calculate the majority?" he asked, wondering whether the BJP was trying to encourage defections by hook or crook. He said the BJP had set up a world-renowned university which awards PhD and post doctorates in the single theme of toppling elected governments, installing minority governments by defection and horse trading.

Alleging that the BJP had entered into a partnership with Central agencies and was misusing institutions, Singhvi said had arrested former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren opted to join the BJP-led NDA, the situation would have been different and he would have been washed in the "BJP's washing machine".

He observed that the BJP appeared to have decided to ensure 'Opposition-mukt' Bharat ahead of the general elections. Singhvi also accused the BJP of installing an "authoritarian, absolutist and autocratic" system in the world's largest democracy, and said the BJP does not like to see any other political colours in the country.

Ulaka alleged that the action against Hemant Soren arose from the BJP's "anti-Adivasi mindset". He said the BJP wanted to take control of the country's resources and give them to its capitalist friends.

Meanwhile, media reports suggested that on Thursday evening, lawmakers from the ruling alliance were shepherded into buses and driven away to Ranchi airport, where they were supposed to board chartered planes to Congress-ruled Telangana, until bad weather forced a change of plan. 

The Jharkhand MLAs had reportedly been scheduled to land at Hyderabad's Begumpet Airport, and rooms had been booked at Taj Krishna and other hotels in the city, according to agency reports. 

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