With early trends suggesting that the Congress-led Grand Alliance might come to power in Jharkhand, the pre-poll alliance’s chief ministerial face, Hemant Soren, is all set to be the man in the limelight.
This would not be the first time that Hemant is the man of the moment, however. He has helmed the top post once before, even though it was for a short period of time.
In order to script his political trajectory, Hemant had to come out of the shadows of his father, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) supremo Shibu Soren and that of his elder brother, Durga Soren, who was a legislator and potential heir to the Soren family’s legacy before his death in 2009.
From 2009, when he was still being considered a political novice but was made the chief of JMM core committee, to 2014 when he was projected as the chief ministerial face, Hemant has had a calculated rise, experts suggest.
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During 2014, the JMM was hoping to project Hemant as the young face with the backing of the old order (read Shibu Soren), but that did not work. The JMM became only the second-largest party after the BJP, and could not form the government. But this did not lead to the sentiment going against JMM or Hemant, analysts say.
Experts suggest that it was the 2014 state elections that helped Hemant set a firm foot in state politics, since it was he who had led the party campaign from the front.
Hemant was born in undivided Bihar and was educated in Patna. He has studied at the Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra and is known to be an introvert. He had served as a Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) from 2009 to 2010, and was made the deputy chief minister of Jharkhand in the Arjun Munda-led NDA government from 2010 to 2013.
This time around, like 2014, Hemant is contesting from Dumka as well as Barhait. Early trends suggested that he was leading from Barhait, a traditional JMM bastion, but was trailing from Dumka. According to a India Today-Axis My India survey, he is the most popular CM candidate, with 29 percent of those surveyed having declared him as their choice for the post.
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