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Amid political crisis, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren offers boat ride to MLAs

Amid political crisis, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren offers boat ride to MLAs

Ranchi: The Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren whose fate is hanging in the balance has taken 43 of 49 lawmakers of his coalition administration to Latratu dam reservoir in Khunti district for a picnic.

More than entertaining lawmakers, Soren was sending a message to his political rivals of his lawmakers' strong bond with him while apparently trying to stop any attempt by the BJP to poach them.

The fun trip had the lawmakers boating in orange life jackets with wind in their hair and lots of sun shining down on the waters. Before returning to Ranchi for more serious political affairs, they reportedly feasted on "mutton-bhaat".

Of the six who were absent from the trip, three were suspended Congress MLAs after being arrested with Rs 50 lakh in their car in Howrah last month.

The speaker reportedly stayed home, while another Congress MLA wanted to nurse her newborn. A JMM lawmaker was "missing", according to a report in The Times of India.

Hemant Soren is facing the possibility of being disqualified as MLA after being accused of holding an office of profit, violating electoral norms by awarding a mining lease to himself.

After the BJP sought Soren's disqualification as a lawmaker, the Election Commission of India had sent its response to Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais.

Source say that the ball is in the Jharkhand Governor's court. The governor is not likely to open the letter before Monday, keeping Hemant Soren and his friends on the edge.

However, putting up a brave face, the JMM-led coalition's health minister Banna Gupta said they would fight against all attempts by BJP to topple the Soren government.

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