Soren to form new Jharkhand government, prove majority Sep 1 (Third Lead)

August 26th, 2008 - 12:26 am ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, Aug 25 (IANS) Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren was Monday invited by Governor Syed Sibte Razi to form the new state government and asked to prove majority by Sep 1.Soren will take of oath as the new chief minister Wednesday at Morabadi ground here.

The swearing-in ceremony will take place around 1 p.m. and seven Independents are likely to take oath along with Soren. The state cabinet formation will be decided Tuesday, according to sources.

Earlier in the day, the JMM chief met Governor Razi and presented a letter of support from 42 legislators.

The move came after outgoing chief minister Madhu Koda finally softened his stance and expressed support for him.

When Soren went to meet the governor, he was accompanied by Koda, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad, central minister and Congress MP Subodh Kant Sahay and Independent, or unattached, legislators.

His letter named nine legislators of the Congress, seven of Lalu Prasad’s RJD and eight Independents, apart from JMM’s 17 legislators.

Koda, who was forced to step down Saturday to make way for Soren, took a U-turn and extended his support to the JMM chief after a meeting with him and Lalu Prasad in the afternoon.

“I have extended support to Shibu Soren. No one is above the UPA (United Progressive Alliance),” Koda had told reporters.

Asked about joining the next government, he said: “I have not decided about it.”

The Koda government was reduced to a minority in the state legislature after the JMM withdrew support to it Aug 17. Koda stepped down following advice from the central UPA leadership.

While the Congress and the RJD announced their support to Soren, he managed to win over eight Independents, including Koda, one after the other.

On Monday, Stephen Marandi, deputy chief minister in the Koda government, also announced his support to Soren.

JMM supporters celebrated after Guruji, as they call Soren, met the governor. They distributed sweets and burst fire crackers.

Soren, who was chief minister of the state for 10 days in March 2005, had long dreamt of returning to the post. He got an opportunity when his party supported the Manmohan Singh government in the crucial trust vote of July 22.

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