Hemant Soren would be succeeding the BJP's Raghubar Das, who was the first chief minister in the state to complete a five-year term. (Photo Credit: File)
JMM working president and the leader of Opposition Hemant Soren, 44, is all set to become the chief minister of Jharkhand again as the opposition coalition comprising the party, the Congress and the RJD stunned the BJP in the 81-member seats in the Assembly on Monday. Hemant Soren won both the seats -- Dumka and Barhait -- in the assembly elections by big margins. As the JMM-led alliance comfortably crossed the majority mark in the polls, the Congress exuded confidence that the alliance will form the government with Hemant Soren as chief minister.
All India Congress Committee in-charge for Jharkhand, RPN Singh said: "We will form the government as we fought the elections for the people of the state by raising issues that affect their lives and livelihoods. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah tried to divert the attention of the people away from fundamental issues but the people did not get swayed."
Reiterating that Hemant Soren of the JMM will be the chief minister as declared earlier, Singh said the Jharkhand results are a defeat of BJP's "arrogance and diversionary tactics".
#WATCH: Jharkhand Mukti Morcha's (JMM) Hemant Soren rides a cycle at his residence in Ranchi. JMM is currently leading on 28 seats while the Congress-JMM-RJD alliance is leading on 46 seats. pic.twitter.com/e9HYcb26Y2— ANI (@ANI) December 23, 2019
Congress coordinator for Jharkhand polls Ajay Sharma said this is the defeat of BJP's corruption and its arrogance.
His first stint as chief minister of the tribal state had lasted for just about 14 months since July 15 2013. But this time, he with support from his allies - the Congress and the RJD have stopped the seemingly invincible BJP. Hemant Soren had been the face of the opposition alliance in the state.
He was born to Shibu Soren, known as 'Guruji' to his innumerable followers, and his wife Roopi on August 10, 1975 at Nemra village in Ramgarh district of Jharkhand.
The senior Soren, known as 'Guruji' to his followers and had served as chief minister thrice, had been grooming his elder son Durga Soren but fate had deemed otherwise. Durga Soren died of suspected kidney failure and Shibu Soren was convicted in the Chirrudih massacre case.
The situation turned the focus on Hemant Soren who was then entrusted with the responsibility of running the JMM. It was only after Guruji quit the Manmohan Singh cabinet owing to his court conviction, Hemant Soren emerged as heir apparent of the 'Soren clan' and won the Dumka Assembly seat in 2009. He went on to become a Rajya Sabha Member in 2009- 2010, before becoming Jharkhand's youngest chief minister in 2013 with the support of the Congress and the RJD.
His rule was, however, short-lived as BJP seized power in 2014 in the politically unstable state and Raghubar Das took over.
In 2014, Hemant Soren won a seat in the Jharkhand assembly and became the leader of the opposition. During his political ascendency he was able to sideline JMM's senior leaders like Stephen Marandi, Simon Marandi and Hemlal Murmu, prompting them to quit the party. While Murmu and Simon Marandi joined the BJP, Stephen Marandi floated a party along with the first BJP chief minister of the state, Babulal Marandi. Stephen Marandi had later returned to JMM, accepting Hemant Soren as the party's leader.
Cornered in the last five years with the saffron party accusing him and his family of violating the Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act, Hemant Soren took time but patiently overcame the storm and formed the pre-poll alliance with old friends - the Congress and RJD.
He also managed to get the lion's share of 43 seats, giving 31 to Congress and seven to the RJD in the pre-poll seat pact, even as the Lalu Prasad-led party was left frowning.
Hemant Soren, who has two sons from his marriage with Kalpana, came under severe criticism from the BJP which accused him of "pariwarvad" for giving a JMM ticket to his sister, Anjali, from Odisha's Mayurbhanj seat in the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year.
In Dumka, Soren was facing a tough fight from Woman and Child Welfare minister Louis Marandi of the BJP and in Barhait his main opponent is Simon Malto of the saffron party.
Since its bifurcation from Bihar in 2000, Jharkhand had nine governments and three stints of President's Rule.
The son of Shibu Soren led from the front challenging the high-powered BJP campaign based on a national narrative and led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The party was at the forefront for its statehood demand nearly two decades back. Hemant Soren had concentrated on local issues instead of countering BJP's offensive led by Modi.