A day after being relocated to a resort close to the capital of Chhattisgarh in light of political developments in their home state, four ministers from the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition in Jharkhand returned to Ranchi on Wednesday night.
For a Thursday Cabinet meeting, one of the ministers claimed they were returning to Ranchi.
A local Congress leader reported that Jharkhand minister Satyanand Bhokta and MLA Pradeep Yadav had taken a chartered flight to Raipur earlier in the day. While MLA Yadav was moved to the Mayfair Golf resort in Nava Raipur, where four ministers Alamgir Alam, Banna Gupta, Rameshwar Oraon, and Badal Patralekh were staying, Bhokta joined them on the return flight. “We (ministers) are going back for a Cabinet meeting scheduled on Thursday. What the BJP has done in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Goa, it wanted to replicate it in Jharkhand. There are reports that our CM has been disqualified while the Election Commission’s decision is yet to be made public. Although we are not afraid as we have numbers,” Alamgir Alam told reporters at Raipur airport.
To stop the BJP from allegedly trying to poach its lawmakers, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-Congress-Rashtriya Janata Dal coalition in Jharkhand flew its 32 MLAs to Raipur on Tuesday. They were then transferred to the opulent resort in Naya Raipur.
Although prominent Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) officials are with them, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren did not travel to Raipur with the UPA MLAs, according to sources. There was a rumour that the election panel had recommended the chief minister be disqualified as an MLA, even though the Election Commission’s (EC) judgement has not yet been made public.