Soren being dissuaded from Jharkhand chief ministership

August 17th, 2008 - 3:05 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Ranchi, Aug 17 (IANS) Efforts are being made to dissuade Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren from demanding Jharkhand’s chief ministership, said an independent lawmaker Sunday, even as JMM blamed the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) for not pursuing the independents in Soren’s favor. Bandhu Tirkey and Bhanu Pratap Sahi, independent legislators who are ministers, met Soren at his residence Sunday just before the JMM’s crucial meeting to take a decision on the fate of the Madhu Koda government.

JMM has taken time Sunday evening from Governor Syed Sibte Razi for a meeting.

After meeting the JMM chief, Bhanu Pratap Sahi told reporters: “Efforts are on to resolve the issue and find out an amicable solution.” He, however, did not explain the way to solve the crisis.

The other independent legislator Bandhu Tirkey said that he would speak after August 20. Tirkey is supporting Soren’s demand.

The JMM has blamed the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) for not pursuing the independents in favour of Shibu Soren.

Nalin Soren, agriculture minister and a JMM legislator, said: “The Congress has failed to fulfil it’s commitment. The Congress and RJD should have pursued independents to support Shibu Soren. Instead of directing independents, Congress and RJD asked us (JMM) to garner support of independents.”

He said: “It was the Congress and RJD who had made efforts to manage the numbers for Koda. Why are both parties not doing same thing for JMM.”

He said that the party legislators are firmly with Shibu Soren’s demand. “Our next course of action will be decided in Sunday’s meeting of the central committee.”

The political crisis began in Jharkhand Tuesday when JMM chief Shibu Soren staked claim to Jharkhand chief minister’s post and present incumbent Madhu Koda refused to resign.

Soren’s move has been supported by the Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). Soren secured backing of the Congress and RJD in lieu of supporting the trust vote of Manmohan Singh government July 22.

In the 82-member assembly, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) has support of 42 legislators. The UPA legislators include 17 of JMM, nine of Congress and seven of RJD. The remaining belong to smaller parties or are independent legislators.

If JMM withdraws support, then the Koda government will be reduced to a minority.

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