Amid reports that Chief Minister Hemant Soren will be disqualified from the Jharkhand Assembly, the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and its allies on Saturday moved the legislators out of Ranchi amid fears of poaching, ANI reported. However, the MLAs returned around 9 to Soren’s home in the city.

Congress leader Avinash Pande, who is in charge of the party’s Jharkhand desk, said the MLAs and minsters have only gathered to discuss the political developments in the state.

“We’re here to discuss the matter and reach some conclusion on it,” Pande added.

The MLAs were first shifted to Khunti district but then they returned to Ranchi. Visuals showed Soren taking a boat ride with the MLAs near Latratu dam.

The development came after reports said on Thursday that the Election Commission has suggested disqualifying Soren as an MLA. The opinion was sent to the Raj Bhavan in a sealed cover. But, Soren said that he did not receive any communication either from the Election Commission or the governor recommending his disqualification.

The poll panel order came on an office-of-profit complaint filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party alleging that Soren allotted a mining lease in his name. Soren also holds the mining portfolio in Jharkhand.

An office-of-profit means a position that brings to the person holding it financial gains or benefits.

NDTV reported on Saturday that Governor Ramesh Bais is likely to send the disqualification order of Soren to the Election Commission later in the day.

On Friday, Soren had said that he is not worried.

“Since our opponents are unable to match us politically, they are misusing constitutional institutions,” he wrote in apparent reference to poaching attempts. “It’s the people who gave us the chair... Do what you can; my work for my people can never stop.”

Earlier on Saturday, MLAs of the ruling United Progressive Alliance attended a meeting at Soren’s residence in Ranchi. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Left parties are part of the alliance.

Visuals showed that two buses ferried the Jharkhand MLAs from Soren’s home to avoid poaching attempts.

According to ANI, the MLAs had been moved to Latratu dam in the district. Heavy police force was deployed at the location.

“All ministers and MLAs are together,” said minister Satyanand Bhokta in Khunti. “We’ll go to other places too, don’t know where we will go next. Several things in motion right now.”

Ahead of the meeting, Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee President Rajesh Thakur said that the MLAs were coming with luggage for the meeting because they have been asked to be ready to move out, reported ANI.

“We’ll let you know if MLAs are asked to shift somewhere,” he added.

The disqualification order means that Soren will have to resign as an MLA, but can get re-elected within six months. He can also continue to remain the chief minister if legislators of the ruling United Progressive Alliance name him as the leader of the coalition.

The BJP has also accused Soren of violating Section 9A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, that deals with the disqualification of legislators for government contracts.

On Friday too, Soren had held a meeting of all MLAs of the ruling alliance.

After the meeting, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya said the party has support of 50 MLAs in the 81-member Assembly and claimed that some BJP leaders were also in touch with them, reported ANI.

“We are comfortably enjoying the majority and whenever the governor asks we will prove our majority,” he added.

The BJP has demanded that the Assembly should be dissolved and elections be held for all seats in the state.