New Delhi: Counting of votes for the Jharkhand Assembly Election 2019 is scheduled to begin at 8 AM, but with all exit polls predicting advantage for Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)-Congress-Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) alliance, the stage looks set for JMM chief Hemant Soren to become the next, and seventh Chief Minister of the state. (Click here for full coverage of Jharkhand Assembly Election 2019)

Born on August 10, 1975, Hemant Soren is the designated chief ministerial candidate of the Mahagathbandhan alliance. Son of former and three-time Chief Minister Shibu Soren, the 44-year-old, as per affidavit filed before the Election Commission, enrolled in BIT Mesra, Ranchi, in Mechanical Engineering, but couldn’t complete the course.

A former member of the Rajya Sabha, he is also a former deputy Chief Minister of Jharkhand, having held the office between September 2010-January 2013. In July 2013, he was sworn-in as the Chief Minister with support from Congress and RJD, after President’s Rule was removed from the state.

He held the post till December 2014 after which the BJP came to power in the state, with Raghubar Das becoming the Chief Minister and going on to complete a full five-year term, becoming the first Chief Minister of the state to achieve this feat.

With Raghubar Das in power, Hemant Soren served as the Leader of Opposition (LoP) and has repeatedly accused the BJP government of ‘looting the land of Adivasis, natives and the farmers of the state.’

He is contesting from two constituencies-Dumka and Barhait, having contested from the two seats in the 2014 Assembly polls as well. While he lost Dumka to BJP leader and outgoing social welfare minister Louis Marandi, with the two pitted against each other this time too, he won Barhait by defeating the saffron party’s Hemlal Murmu.