Hemant Soren will preside over a crucial meeting of INDIA bloc legislators on Wednesday, amid speculations of a change of guard in the state, MLAs of the alliance were quoted as saying by news agency PTI. 

The Former Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Hemant, who is also the executive president of the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), was released from jail on June 28 after the High Court granted him bail in a money-laundering case. He was arrested by Enforcement Directorate (ED) on January 31.

“A change of guard in the state is possible. This meeting is crucial. All the legislators of the ruling alliance will assemble here,” a party source was quoted as saying by PTI.

Earlier reports suggested Champai Soren would continue as Chief Minister but there seems to be a rethink now.

The Jharkhand High Court, while granting bail to Hemant Soren, said there were reasons to believe that he was ‘not guilty’ of money laundering charged filed against him over a plot of land in Ranchi. After his release, Hemant told party workers that he has been informed that Jharkhand assembly elections may be announced early and that he was prepared.

The speculations about Hemant Soren‘s return as Chief Minister were fueled by the last moment cancellation of programmes of Chief Minister Champai Soren, including distribution of appointment letters to 1,500 selected teachers to be held on July 3.

All public programmes of Champai Soren scheduled on July 2 were also cancelled. Champai Soren took oath as the Chief Minsiter of Jharkhand on February 2, 2024 after Hemant Soren’s arrest.

Congress’s Jharkhand in-charge Ghulam Ahmad Mir and its state president Rajesh Thakur are also scheduled to attend the INDIA bloc meeting on July 3. Hemant Soren‘s brother and minister Basant Soren, and wife Kalpana Soren, are also likely to attend the meeting, according to PTI.