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Lobin may fill Simon’s shoes

Ranchi, June 13: JMM legislator Lobin Hembrom from Borio constituency of Santhal Pargana is likely to fill up the ministerial berth in the Hemant Soren government that fell vacant following the dismissal of rebel party MLA Simon Marandi from the cabinet on May 6.

According to sources, governor Syed Ahmed will administer him the oath of office at Raj Bhavan at 11am on June 17. A senior official from Raj Bhavan confirmed to have received a proposal from the chief minister in this regard.

Hembrom, who has been representing Borio since 1990, is likely to head rural works, food and civil supplies and NREP (special division) departments. “The chief minister recently told me that he was keep to induct me into his council of ministers,” he said, but refused to disclose if he has received any formal communication in this regard.

When asked what would be his priority if he was picked for the post, the Borio MLA said, “I will try to shoulder my responsibilities honestly.”

Hemant has been looking for a prominent face from Santhal Pargana — the JMM’s stronghold — ever since he ousted Littipara MLA Marandi, a popular leader from the region, for anti-party activities during the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections.

Insiders claimed Marandi’s expulsion from the cabinet had created a void in Santhal Pargana, which Hemant wanted to fill up by bringing Hembrom on board.

The five-time MLA has been fighting for the cause of downtrodden, raising issues like poor distribution of BPL cards, food grains and lack of basic amenities in villages. With departments like rural works and food and civil supplies, Hembrom can now play an important role in strengthening the party’s base in rural areas, particularly in the tribal-dominated Santhal region.