Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais has said he has sought a “second opinion” in a case of office-of-profit that has triggered a political crisis in the state, amid the BJP’s demand for dismissal of Chief Minister Hemant Soren.
Mr Bais, who was in his hometown Raipur on Diwali festival, on Wednesday claimed an “atom bomb could explode any time in Jharkhand”, apparently indicating towards his pending decision in the matter.
Following a petition by the BJP seeking Soren’s disqualification from the Assembly in the office-of-profit case, the Election Commission had sent its decision to the Jharkhand governor on August 25, sparking a political crisis in the state.
Though the Election Commission’s decision has not yet been made official, there is a buzz that the poll panel has recommended the chief minister’s disqualification as an MLA in connection with a mining lease.
Asked about Mr Soren’s cabinet colleagues accusing Mr Bais of acting with vendetta to destabilise the Jharkhand government, the governor said, “Look, if my intention was that, I could have taken a decision based on the recommendation of the Election Commission. But, I didn’t want to take any action to defame anyone or with an intention of vendetta.” “I am holding a constitutional post and I have to protect the Constitution. No one should point fingers at me saying I have acted out of revenge, therefore I have asked for a second opinion,” the governor told a news channel.
Mr Bais, however, did not elaborate on the Election Commission’s recommendation and from whom he has sought a second opinion.
Asked whether a big decision will come to fore after receiving the second opinion, the governor said, “…bursting crackers is banned in Delhi but not in Jharkhand. May be one atom bomb could explode there.” On October 15, Chief Minister Soren said his is an unprecedented case in which “a criminal or an accused” is pleading for punishment while the constitutional authorities that should have pronounced judgment are silent.
The Chief Minister was referring to the threats of his disqualification as an MLA on the basis of the purported EC advisory to Governor Bais in the office-of-profit case following a petition by the BJP.
The Soren government last month won the confidence vote in the Assembly by a comfortable margin amid apprehension that MLAs of the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and the Congress would be poached to bring down the JMM-led regime in the state.
Lawmakers of the opposition BJP-led NDA had staged a walkout.