The resignation came after the ED officials questioned him for more than seven hours at his official residence in Ranchi. Jharkhand Governor C.P. Radhakrishnan has accepted his resignation.
Mr Soren has challenged his arrest in the Jharkhand High Court. The hearing will take place on February 1. Many tribal bodies issued a call for a bandh on February 1 to protest against the arrest.
Senior Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader and Transport Minister Champai Soren was elected leader of the Legislature Party soon after Mr. Hemant Soren’s resignation. Mr. Champai Soren is a five-time MLA from Seraikela and in the 1990s, he actively took part in the movement for the creation of a separate State of Jharkhand along with JMM patron Shibu Soren.
After their visit to his Delhi residence, Enforcement Directorate officials towed away a vehicle purportedly used by Mr. Soren and also reportedly impounded some cash.
The agency is yet to confirm if it has seized or attached those assets under any provision of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Jharkhand CM Soren reached Ranchi in the early hours of Tuesday and later, held a meeting of MLAs to discuss the present political situation, after reports he had gone ‘missing.’
Mr Soren had left for New Delhi on January 27 night. Amid speculation about his whereabouts, he reached his official residence in Ranchi on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday.
All the legislators of Soren’s party, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)-led ruling alliance were asked not to leave the state capital, and to attend the meeting.
The meeting was called to discuss strategies regarding the current political situation and the Enforcement Directorate’s proposed questioning of the CM on Wednesday.
Mr Soren, who is also the JMM executive president, chaired the meeting and said ‘I reside in your hearts,’ when reporters asked about his absence.
Mr Soren was speaking to the media at ‘Bapu Vatika’ event, where he went to pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his death anniversary.
‘We all are committed to follow the footsteps and ideologies of the Father of the Nation. We are proud that such people were born among us and gave us guidance,’ he added.
‘The Jharkhand CM has the blessings of the people, he will be unharmed. We are formulating strategies to face the tyrants,’ a JMM spokesperson said.
In an email sent to the ED, Soren has agreed to record his statement in a money laundering case linked to an alleged land deal in Jharkhand on January 31 at 1 pm at his residence.
Meanwhile, the ED searched Mr Soren’s south Delhi residence on Monday, and camped there for almost 13 hours in order to question him, officials said.
The ED has seized INR 36 lakh, an SUV and some ‘incriminating’ documents from the residence it said.
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