Three former Jharkhand chief ministers eye ministerial berths

May 20th, 2009 - 2:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Ranchi, May 20 (IANS) Three former chief ministers of Jharkhand have extended support to the new United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and are said to be keen to get ministerial berths.
The decision by Babulal Marandi, the state’s first chief minister and president of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P), to support the UPA has surprised many, including party leaders.

Marandi, who quit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2006 and formed the JVM-P, was trying to emerge as an alternative to the UPA and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the state and was part of the Third Front before the polls.

Apart from Marandi winning from Koderma, his party failed to make its presence felt in the Lok Sabha polls. The JVM-P leader met Congress president Sonia Gandhi Tuesday evening and handed over his party’s letter of support.

Marandi told reporters in New Delhi that he had extended support to a “stable government at the centre that can help in the development of the state”.

Madhu Koda, another former chief minister who won as an independent candidate from Singhbhum, claimed to have got a call from Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi to support the alliance.

Koda had defeated Congress candidate Bagun Sumbrai. He also met Sonia Gandhi Tuesday evening.

Jharkhand Congress leaders are, however, against Koda being inducted into the central cabinet.

“Jharkhand Congress is not in favour of inducting Koda in the central government. Congress paid heavily in the state by supporting Koda as chief minister,” a state Congress leader told IANS.

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren, who was also chief minister, has also announced support to the UPA government. JMM was a pre-poll partner of the Congress in Jharkhand and won two seats.

Soren won the Dumka Lok Sabha seat and the Jamatara assembly by-poll. Soren’s son Hemant Soren reached New Delhi Wednesday to hand over the party’s letter of support to the Congress president.

In Jharkhand, the BJP won eight seats, JMM two, Congress and JVM-P one each. Two independent candidates won as well.

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