Who Is Sita Soren, The Three-Time JMM MLA Who Joined BJP?

Sita Soren, a three-time MLA from Jama constituency in Jharkhand, is the wife of the late Durga Soren, Hemant's elder brother

JMM legislator Sita Soren joins BJP Photo: PTI

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) MLA and Hemant Soren’s sister-in-law Sita Soren has quit her family party and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a setback for JMM. Sita Soren tendered her resignation on Tuesday, claiming that she was being neglected and isolated by the party and family members.

“Since the demise of my late husband Durga Soren, who was a leading warrior of the Jharkhand movement and a great revolutionary, me and my family have been victims of continuous neglect. We have been isolated by the party and family members, which has been extremely painful for me. I had hoped that the situation would improve with time, but unfortunately, it didn’t happen,” she said.

Who is Sita Soren?

Sita Soren, a three-time MLA from Jama constituency in Jharkhand, is the wife of the late Durga Soren, Hemant's elder brother. She was first elected as MLA in 2009 and later became the National General Secretary of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. Sita was re-elected in 2014 and again in 2019.

Sita Soren has an ongoing trial in a bribery case and a judgement is expected soon. Earlier this month the Supreme Court overturned a key 1998 ruling, removing constitutional immunity for MPs and MLAs who accept bribes for votes or speeches in the legislature under Articles 105(2) and 194(2) of the Constitution.

In 2012, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Sita Soren was accused of accepting a bribe for a Rajya Sabha vote and claimed immunity under Article 194(2). After the Jharkhand High Court rejected her plea, Soren appealed to the Supreme Court.

Sita Soren has also served seven months of prison time on corruption charges and is out on bail now.

In recent years, Sita Soren has criticised her own family and party members for corruption. In August 2022, she criticised the Jharkhand government for not effectively addressing the exploitation of land in the mineral-rich state. In April 2022, she expressed concern that the Jal, Jungle, Jameen vision of her husband and JMM leader Shibu Soren was being undermined.

In February, when there were rumours about Kalpana Soren potentially becoming CM if Hemant Soren were arrested, Sita Soren strongly opposed the idea, questioning Kalpana Soren's political experience and status as a non-MLA. She asserted her position as the elder daughter-in-law of the family and reminded of her husband's pivotal role in the creation of Jharkhand.