JMM leader Hemant Soren took oath as Jharkhand chief minister for a second time on Sunday at a grand ceremony attended by a galaxy of opposition leaders and regional satraps, in a show of unity that could be a harbinger of a broad-based anti-BJP alliance amid the uproar over the new citizenship law.
Attired in white kurta-pyjama ensemble and a Nehru jacket, the 44-year-old tribal leader was sworn in as the 11th chief minister of the state by Governor Droupadi Murmu.
Among those in attendance were Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, TMC boss and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, her Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh counterparts Ashok Gehlot and Bhupesh Baghel, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, DMK leader M K Stalin, his sister Kanimozhi, and RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav.
They smiled broadly and shook hands at the bonhomie- filled event that heralded the advent of a JMM-Congress-RJD government, after the opposition coalition snatched yet another state from the BJP, barely months after its remarkable performance in the Lok Sabha elections.
Former assembly speaker and Congress leader Alamgir Alam, Jharkhand PCC president Rameshwar Oraon and RJD MLA Satyanand Bhokta were the other three ministers who took oath after Soren.
It is the second term for Soren, who had been a deputy chief minister and chief minister between 2009 and 2013.
Alam and Oraon are first-time ministers, while Bhokta had been the agriculture minister in the BJP-led NDA governments between 2000 and 2005, before joining the RJD.
In the just-conducted Assembly elections, the JMM- Congress-Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) alliance triumphed over the BJP, winning 47 seats in the 81-member House.
Four other MLAs – three from the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) and one from the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) have also extended support to the three-party coalition.