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JMM urges EC to hold by-election on Gandey seat

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to hold by-election on the vacant Gandey assembly seat in Jharkhand. The JMM delegation, led by party general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya, submitted a letter to the Chief Electoral Officer of Jharkhand, Vinay Kumar Choubey, on Friday, requesting him to expedite the process of conducting the by-election.

The JMM argued that the tenure of the Jharkhand Assembly is more than one year, and hence, the by-election should be held as soon as possible, as per the constitutional provisions. The Gandey seat fell vacant after the resignation of JMM MLA Sarfaraz Ahmed, who quit the party and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in December last year.

The JMM also expressed its confidence that it would retain the seat, as the people of Gandey are happy with the performance of the Hemant Soren-led coalition government in the state. The JMM is in alliance with the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in Jharkhand.

Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has given a deadline of Saturday to Chief Minister Hemant Soren to record his statement in connection with a money laundering case. The ED had issued the seventh summons to Soren on December 29, asking him to appear before the agency in Delhi. Soren has not responded to the previous six summons, citing various reasons.

The case pertains to the alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks in Jharkhand in 2006, when Soren was a minister in the UPA government at the Centre. The ED has accused Soren of receiving kickbacks from a private company for facilitating the coal block allotment.

Soren has denied any wrongdoing and claimed that the ED summons are politically motivated. He has also approached the Jharkhand High Court, seeking quashing of the summons and the FIR filed by the ED.

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