Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais on Thursday said that he has sought a second opinion in the office-of-profit case against Chief Minister Hemant Soren, reported PTI.
The office-of-profit case pertains to a complaint filed by the Bharatiya Janata Party alleging that Soren allotted a mining lease in his own name while holding the mining portfolio. Media reports had said in August that the Election Commission has recommended Bais to disqualify Soren as an MLA. However, the recommendation was not made public and Bais did not take any action.
On Wednesday, the governor told reporters that his intention in the matter is not to influence state’s political status quo, reported The Times of India.
“If my intention was that, I could have taken a decision based on the recommendation of the Election Commission,” Bais said. “But I didn’t want to take any action to defame anyone or with an intention of vendetta.”
Bais said that he holds a constitutional post and has a duty 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,” he said, reported the news agency.
Last month, Soren had written to Bais asking him to provide a copy of the recommendation made by the Election Commission for taking action against him. On August 29, a delegation of the ruling United Progressive Alliance in Jharkhand had also met the governor and asked him how information got leaked to the media from his office.
The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader had claimed that the BJP was misusing the confusion regarding the case to gain power in the state unethically.
If the governor announces Soren’s disqualification, then he will have to resign as an MLA. Soren, however, can get re-elected within six months. He can also continue as the chief minister if legislators of the ruling United Progressive Alliance name him as the leader of the coalition.