UPA steps up efforts to form government in Jharkhand

June 21st, 2009 - 5:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Ranchi, June 21 (IANS) Enthused by its victory in the Rajya Sabha elections, leaders of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) have stepped up efforts to form the government in the state.
UPA won both the Rajya Sabha seats in the by-elections Saturday.

Dheeraj Sahu of the Congress got 44 votes against the BJP’s Anup Agrawal, who managed to get only 26 votes.

Hemant Soren, son of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren, defeated Ajay Maroo of the BJP. Soren got 38 votes against Maroo’s 30. Three votes were found invalid.

The UPA leaders met in a restaurant Saturday night in Ranchi and discussed the formation of the government in the state.

A team of the Congress and the JMM are scheduled to leave for New Delhi Sunday and Monday. The team will apprise the central Congress leadership about the political situation in the state.

“The JMM and our party leaders will go to New Delhi and apprise the central leadership about the numerical strength of the UPA after the Rajya Sabha elections. The central leaders will decide regarding the formation of the government,” said Rabindra Singh, spokesperson of Jharkhand unit of the Congress.

The JMM has constituted a seven member team which will leave for New Delhi and meet Congress leaders like Ahmad patel, Oscar Fernandes and others.

“The Rajya Sabha elections indicate that the UPA enjoys a majority in the assembly,” said Sudhir Mahto, senior JMM leader and former deputy chief minister.

According to sources, both the JMM and the Congress are trying to lead the next government.

“As an individual party Congress may have nine legislators but we got 44 votes and JMM which has 17 legislators managed to get only 38 votes. This indicates that the Congress is acceptable to majority of legislators,” said a senior Congress leader.

Congress is trying to work out a formula which is acceptable to the JMM.

“Hemant Soren, son of Shibu Soren, won the Rajya Sabha election and may be given a place in the Manmohan Singh cabinet… the JMM could be offered the post of deputy chief minister and JMM will be asked to accept a Congress chief minister in the state,” said another source in the Congress party.

Jharkhand assembly has a total strength of 82 legislators and at present the effective strength is only 73. The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) which has seven legislators in the assembly also supported UPA in the by-elections. RJD is also not averse to the idea of forming an alternative government in the state.

Jharkhand is under president rule since Jan 19 and the state assembly has been kept under suspended animation.

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