Shibu Soren set to be Jharkhand CM for third time
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Last Updated: Monday, December 28, 2009, 09:37
Ranchi: JMM supremo Shibu Soren, who is set to be the chief minister of Jharkhand for the third time, took to politics after battling for years against exploitation of poor tribals by money lenders.

Born in Nemhra village in Hazaribagh on January 11, 1944, Soren's father, Somlang, a school teacher was murdered in the 1960s.

Soren had constituted the Santhal Sudhav Samaj and in the late 1960s set up an ashram at Tundi block in Dhanbad district to take up the cause of the poor and also opposed non-tribal 'outsiders'.

In an outbreak of violence against 'outsiders', tribals killed 11 people in Chirudih village with Soren being made an accused in the case.

A founder member of the JMM in 1972, Soren plunged into Jharkhand movement before taking a temporary break when he took over as chairman of the Jharkhand Area Autonomous Council (JAAC) in the 1990.

He went on to represent the Dumka Lok Sabha seat in 1989, 1991 and 1996.

Soren became the chief minister of the mineral-rich state following intense manoeuvring after his party backed the UPA to help it sail through the trust vote in July 2008.

Soren joined the Union Council of Ministers in May 2004, but had to resign within two months after a warrant pending against him in the three-decade-old Chirudih massacre case surfaced.

The tribal leader, who was in the forefront of the fight for carving out a separate Jharkhand state from Bihar, was in the Union Cabinet from October 2004 till March 2005.

He subsequently became Jharkhand chief minister but failed to prove his majority in the assembly and had to quit the post.

Soren once again returned to the Centre in 2006 and then as chairperson of the state United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in Jharkhand when Madhu Koda became chief minister in September 2006.

This time too he was unlucky as he had to quit the Union ministry in October 2006 after he was convicted and jailed in connection with the murder of his personal secretary Shashinath Jha in 1994.

But he was acquitted in the murder case by the Delhi High Court in 2007 and also in the Chirudih massacre case.

In January this year, Soren had to step down from chief ministership again when he was defeated by an Independent Gopal Krishna Patar in the Tamar by-elections. Since he was not a member of the Assembly, he had to quit. Subsequently, President's Rule was imposed in the state.

Soren's first term as chief minister was from March 2, 2005, which lasted just nine days, while he spent a little over four months in the office during his second term from August 27, 2008.

Despite being drubbed by a political green horn, Gopal Krishna Patar, in the Tamar by-poll that cost him the chair in January, Soren had the last laugh when Patar, now a JDU MLA, extended support to him to form the new government.


First Published: Monday, December 28, 2009, 09:37

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