Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, in a letter to the Enforcement Directorate, said he will record his statement before the agency officials at 1 pm on January 31 at his residence.
While accepting to record his statement, the Jharkhand Chief Minister alleged that questioning him at this time was more political and was meant to disrupt the functioning of his Government.
“You are well aware that the Budget Session of the Legislative Assembly will be held between February 2 and February 29, 2024 and the undersigned will be pre-occupied with preparations for the same apart from other prior scheduled official engagements,” the letter written by Hemant Soren to ED’s Ranchi office said.
“In these circumstances, your insistence to record a further statement of the undersigned on or before January 31, 2024 reeks of malice and reveals your political agenda to disrupt the functioning of the State Government and prevent an elected representative of the people from discharging his official duties,” Hemant Soren’s letter to the ED said.
The “acts are malafide and politically motivated (and) stand vindicated. The issuance of summon to the undersigned is wholly vexatious and in colourable exercise of powers given by the statute,” the letter added.
The ED officials visited Hemant Soren’s residence in the national capital on the night of January 29 to question him in connection with an alleged land scam case and said that the Jharkhand Chief Minister could not be located.
Jharkhand Minister Banna Gupta said, ” Honourable CM is in the hearts of Jharkhand people. He has said that he will answer all the questions of ED as per the deadline given by ED, let the deadline come..I don’t want to make any comments on ED, everything will come to people’s court, they are the head in democracy. People set the narrative regarding what is happening to whom, and why is it happening…”
Jharkhand Governor CP Radhakrishnan in Ranchi said that no one was above the law and the CM must obey the law.
“Like you(the media), we are also waiting for the CM’s response. Nobody is above the law. We have to work within the Constitution. We want law & order to be maintained,” the Governor said. Meanwhile, Section 144 CrPc was imposed within a 100-meter radius of Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren’s residence, Raj Bhavan and ED office in Ranchi.
As per sources, the ED had issued a fresh summons to Hemant Soren, asking him to be available for questioning on January 29 or 31, or else the agency itself will go to him for questioning. This is the tenth summons issued to the Jharkhand Chief Minister by the ED.
On January 29 night, ED officials seized a luxury car belonging to Hemant Soren from his Delhi residence late January 29, in connection with the ongoing probe into a money laundering case linked to an alleged land scam.
(with inputs from ANI)