Jharkhand Cabinet Expansion Sparks Discontent Among Congress, JMM MLAs

# Irked 8 MLA rushed to Delhi; remain will join them soon

by Ashis Sinha

Ranchi: The recent cabinet expansion by Champai Soren has stirred up a storm of discontent among Congress and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) MLAs.

Furious Congress MLAs have rushed to Delhi to express their grievances. While only 8 out of the 12 disgruntled MLAs have reached Delhi so far, there are reports that the remaining four will join them soon. Among those who have traveled to Delhi are Rajesh Kachhap, Jaimangal Singh alias Anoop Singh, Dr. Irfan Ansari, Umashankar Akela, Bhushan Bara, Naman, Ramchandra Singh, and Amba Prasad.

On the other hand, Naman Viksal Kongadi, Purnima Neeraj Singh, and Ramchandra Singh did not attend the meeting. It is expected that four more MLAs will arrive in Delhi by tomorrow.

The discontent among 12 out of the total 17 Congress MLAs has put the party in a critical situation. If these four MLAs also switch sides, it could spell trouble for the Jharkhand government.

Meanwhile, Congress State President Rajesh Thakur is currently in Delhi. There is speculation that the disgruntled MLAs may meet with the high command under the leadership of the state president in Delhi.

A total of 12 out of 17 Congress MLAs are dissatisfied with the Champai government’s cabinet expansion that took place on Friday. These MLAs are boycotting the Jharkhand assembly session and have left for Delhi, demanding an additional ministerial post for Congress and the replacement of all old ministers from the Congress quota.

A group of Congress MLAs met with Jharkhand party chief Rajesh Thakur to protest against the repetition of ministers from the party’s quota in the new cabinet.

The rebel MLAs include Deepika Pandey Singh, Irfan Ansari, Anup Singh, Ram Chandra Singh, Bhushan Bara, Shinku, Akela Yadav, Amba Prasad, Purnima Neerja Singh, Neha Tirkey, Rajesh Kashyap, and Viksal Kongadi.

Even within the ruling JMM, there are signs of discontent. MLA Baidyanath Ram, who was dropped from the list of ministers at the last moment, has threatened to contest as an independent candidate in the upcoming assembly polls if necessary, citing insult and pressure from the central leadership of Congress as reasons for his exclusion.

On Friday, Champai Soren government inducted eight MLAs from the ruling JMM-Congress alliance as ministers, marking a significant development in the state’s political landscape.

Among the newly sworn-in ministers are five from the JMM quota, including Basant Soren, Deepak Birua, Mithilesh Thakur, Hafizul Hassan, and Baby Devi, along with three from the Congress party – Rameshwar Oraon, Banna Gupta, and Badal Patralekh.

Basant Soren and Deepak Birua emerged as fresh faces in the Champai government, with Governor CP Radhakrishnan administering the oath of office to the newly appointed ministers.

Following the cabinet expansion, the Cabinet Secretariat and Coordination Department promptly issued a notification detailing the distribution of portfolios. Basant Soren, the younger brother of former Chief Minister Hemant Soren, secured three crucial ministries: Road construction, Building construction, and Water resources.

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