Shibu Soren unlikely to be inducted in union cabinet

May 25th, 2009 - 4:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Ranchi, May 25 (IANS) Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren is likely to be kept away from the union cabinet as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is not in favour of inducting tainted MPs in his government, Congress party sources said here Monday.
According to the sources, Soren had proved to be an embarrassment to the Manmohan Singh government on two occasions when he was inducted in the cabinet as the coal minister after the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) won the elections in 2004.

In July 2004, Soren was compelled to resign after an arrest warrant pending against him in a three-decade-old case surfaced. Re-inducted into the cabinet later in the year, he was again forced to resign in October 2006 after a Delhi court convicted and sentenced him to life imprisonment for the murder of his personal secretary Shashinath Jha.

Though the JMM was a pre-poll ally of the Congress, Soren’s room for bargaining has been further reduced after his party won only two seats, down from five in last Lok Sabha. Apart from Soren, who won from Dumka parliamentary constituency, jailed Maoist leader Kameshwar Baitha won from Palamau.

Since the beginning of 2009, Soren is facing the setbacks on both personal and political fronts. Forced to resign as Chief Minister Jan 12 after losing the Tamar assembly byelection, he suffered another setback when his younger brother, Shankar Soren died due to kidney failure a day after he quit. He himself was hospitalised, and underwent bypass surgery early this month. Another big tragedy struck him as his eldest son, Durga Soren died of a brain haemorrhage May 20.

“We hope that Shibu Soren will be inducted in the central cabinet in the second expansion. Soren is not physically fit and is mentally upset after te death of Durga Soren,” a senior JMM leader told IANS.

According to the Congress sources, two MPs from Jharkhand are likely to be inducted in the central ministry, which is expected to be expanded Tuesday. The lone Congress MP and former minister of state (independent charge) for food processing, Subodh Kant Sahay is likely to get cabinet rank. Former chief minister and independent MP from Singhbhum, Madhu Koda is likely to inducted as a minister of state.

Meanwhile, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha Prajantantrik (JVM-P) president and former chief minister Babulal Marandi has also extended support to the UPA government. According to the sources, Congress is in double mind over Marandi’s inclusion, as he was in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) till 2006. The Congress will have to choose either Marandi or Soren, given the political background of the state.

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