Hemant Soren : A Political Journey and Controversies
Hemant Soren, born on 10th August 1975, is a prominent Indian politician hailing from Jharkhand. Serving as the Chief Minister of Jharkhand from 2019 to 2024, Soren has been a key figure in the state’s political landscape. He is also the working president of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, a significant political party in the region. This article delves into his early life, career, notable achievements, and recent controversies. Hemant Soren
Soren was born in Nemara, Ramgarh district, Bihar (now in Jharkhand), to Roopi and Shibu Soren, a former Chief Minister and founder-president of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. Hemant is the third child among his siblings, including Durga Soren, Anjali Soren, and Basant Soren, who is a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Dumka constituency. His educational journey includes completing Intermediate from Patna High School, Patna, Bihar. According to an affidavit filed before the Election Commission, Hemant initially enrolled in Mechanical Engineering at BIT Mesra, Ranchi, but eventually dropped out. Hemant Soren
Hemant Soren’s political journey began when he became a member of the Rajya Sabha from June 2009 to January 2010. Subsequently, he entered the Legislative Assembly on 23rd December 2009 and assumed the role of Jharkhand Deputy Chief Minister from September 2010 to January 2013.
Chief Ministerial Stints:
Soren took office as the Chief Minister of Jharkhand for the first time on 15th July 2013, with support from Congress and RJD after the removal of President’s rule. He continued his political journey by being re-elected as Chief Minister in December 2019, sworn in on 29th December. However, his term faced controversies and challenges, particularly regarding the Pathalgadi movement against tribal land law amendments.
In 2016, the BJP government in Jharkhand attempted to amend the Chhota Nagpur Tenancy Act and the Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act, causing massive protests in the state. Hemant strongly opposed these amendments, describing a government-sponsored summit as a “maha chintan shivir of land grabbers.” The proposed changes, seeking commercial use and leasing of tribal land, led to violent clashes and the abduction of a BJP MP’s security detail. Hemant played a crucial role in resisting these amendments, demanding a CBI inquiry into the death of an 11-year-old girl allegedly due to starvation during the protests.
Chief Ministerial Achievements:
Hemant Soren has been an advocate for social justice, voicing concerns against the Direct Benefit Transfer in PDS. In April 2018, he led a delegation protesting the dilution of SC/ST rights by the Supreme Court and proposed amendments to the LARR Bill by the Jharkhand government. He has also actively participated in discussions about forming non-BJP, non-Congress fronts in the country.
Controversies and Resignation:
On 31st January 2024, Hemant Soren faced a significant setback as he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate following allegations of a land scam. This came after the Election Commission sent its opinion to the Jharkhand Governor on a plea seeking Soren’s disqualification for violating electoral law. Despite facing scrutiny, Soren had declared himself “untraceable” and “missing” for 30 hours, leading to heightened speculation. Later, he arrived at his official residence in Ranchi, Jharkhand, and admitted to residing in the heart of his people. Subsequently, on 31st January 2024, he handed over his resignation letter to the Governor of Jharkhand, C.P. Radhakrishnan.
Awards and Personal Life:
Despite the controversies, Soren received the Champions of Change Award in 2019 for his exceptional work in Dumka and Barhait constituencies. He is married to Kalpana Soren and has two sons. Known for his admiration for tribal warrior Birsa Munda, Soren draws inspiration from Munda’s courage and valor. His father, Shibu Soren, is a key founder of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha.
Hemant Soren’s political journey is marked by both achievements and controversies. From his early days in politics to his multiple terms as Chief Minister, Soren has played a crucial role in shaping Jharkhand’s political landscape. However, recent legal troubles have cast a shadow over his career, leaving a significant impact on the state’s political scenario. Only time will reveal the lasting implications of these events on Soren’s legacy and the future of Jharkhand politics.