Shibu & Hemant Soren
Ranchi, Oct. 6: Chief minister Hemant Soren today appeared to blow a fuse over questions from the media on his father and political mentor Shibu Soren who rated his fledgling government “average”.
“Suggest what I should do. Should I go and fight with Baba? Should I keep clarifying?” Hemant told the media this evening on the sidelines of a book launch at the Sri Krishna Institute of Public Administration.
Soren Senior yesterday pressed the panic button within both Hemant’s coalition government and JMM ranks when he expressed his dissatisfaction over the nearly three-month-old Hemant government.
Sources said Hemant spoke to his father late last night as well as this morning, requesting for “guidance” but also reminding Soren Senior that criticism coming from a father and a party chief offered open ammo for detractors.
Senior JMM partymen have rushed to mend matters.
“The chief minister has a vision for Jharkhand but is handicapped. Alliance partners prefer political decisions that suit them. What Shibu Soren said about the government was a not a personal indictment. He spoke about the government where Congress and RJD are also partners,” a senior JMM leader said.
Though Soren Senior may have criticised his son to storm his way back to the limelight, public opinion is worse.
Political watchers feel much of Hemant’s energy is spent in balancing the egos of demanding alliance partners and Independents.
Hemant, who was sworn in on July 13, has nearly completed 90 days in office. All eyes are on the chief minister as the much-hyped 100-day development roadmap, part of the Common Minimum Programme released by JMM, Congress and RJD on July 29, approaches its finishing line.
It is widely known that major decisions on pressing needs such as roads, healthcare, law and order and the like are hanging fire. Even transfers and postings of IAS and IPS officers are on hold due to internal and external pressures.
The Congress has stymied Hemant’s pet project, a guideline on Jharkhand’s domicile policy. “I won’t reveal what I have done and what I plan to do. Let me complete 100 days and you will know,” was the chief minister’s lame comment.
Rifts are public knowledge. Congress minister Mannan Mallik openly pilloried Hemant as a chief minister “who can’t develop his own constituency, leave the rest of Jharkhand”.