Jharkhand Governor Ramesh Bais on Friday parried a question on his likely decision on the opinion of Election Commission (EC) of India on the office-of-profit row involving chief minister Hemant Soren, saying the sealed envelope carrying the letter from the top election watchdog was difficult to open.
“The pasting of the envelope is too tight to open,” Bais said in response to a query on the matter by reporters after a health department function, which was also attended by state health minister Banna Gupta.
The EC had sent its opinion to the Jharkhand Raj Bhawan on the issue on August 25, after conducting a hearing on a reference from Governor Bais.
The Governor had referred the complaint filed by the BJP, seeking disqualification of CM Soren from the assembly for allegedly holding an office-of-profit by granting himself a mining lease in 2021, to the EC.
While Raj Bhawan has confirmed having received the EC opinion, it is yet to make its decision public despite repeated requests by the chief minister and the ruling alliance in the state.
Earlier this month, Soren has also approached the EC, seeking a copy of its opinion sent to Raj Bhawan.
However, responding to the plea of September 19, the election body has refused to provide the details, saying it was “privileged” information until the Governor takes a decision on it. The information also can’t be shared under the Right to Information Act, the election body has underlined.