Ranchi: JMM supremo Shibu Soren was today all
set to become the Jharkhand Chief Minister with the support of
BJP and AJSU.
65-year-old Soren staked his claim before Governor K
Sankaranarayanan to whom he handed over a list of 42 MLAs--18
each from JMM and BJP, five from All Jharkhand Students Union
and one from Jharkhand Janadhikar Manch led by Bandhu Tirkey--
in the 81-member Assembly.
"We have the required majority to form the new
government," Soren, who was twice chief minister of the tribal
state, told reporters.
"We have given the letter of support to the JMM to form
the government under the leadership of Shibu Soren," BJP
legislature party leader Raghuvar Das told PTI after a meeting
of party MLAs.
Soren was accompanied by Das and AJSU legislature party
leader Sudesh Mahato to Raj Bhavan.
The JMM chief told the Governor that he had the required
majority to form the government, which would be the seventh
dispensation in over nine years after the state`s creation.
Asked whether BJP would join the government, its Vice-
President Karuna Shukla said, "We have just given a letter of
support to JMM chief Shibu Soren. We will decide after the
Governor invites Soren to form the government."
To a question about the two MLAs of JD(U), an ally of the
BJP, former chief minister and BJP leader Arjun Munda said the
JD(U) legislature party would meet after which its decision
would be conveyed to the BJP.
In the fractured verdict in the assembly polls, Cong-JVM(P)
combine secured 25 seats, followed by BJP-JD(U) alliance (20),
JMM (18) and AJSU (5).
Known popularly as `Guruji`, Soren resigned as chief
minister in January this year after he was defeated in the
assembly by-poll from Jamtara.
As no combination came forward to form a government, the
state was placed under President`s rule on January 19.
Sporting a flowing beard with the looks of a godman, Soren
has been beset with controversies in his more than four
decades of political career.
Born January 11, 1944 in Nemra village of Hazaribagh
district (now in Ramgarh district), Soren had to cut short his
education after his father was allegedly killed by
Soren became the Chief Minister of the mineral-rich state
following intense manoeuvering after his party backed the UPA
to help it sail through the trust vote in July 2008.
He joined the Union Council of Ministers in May 2004 but
had to resign within two months after a warrant pending
against him in a three-decade-old case surfaced. The case
related to the Chirudih massacre in which 11 people including
nine Muslims were killed.
The tribal leader, who was in the forefront of the fight
for carving out a separate Jharkhand state from Bihar,
returned to the Union cabinet in October 2004, and remained in
the government till March 2005 when he became Jharkhand Chief
Minister. But, he failed to prove his majority in the assembly
and had to quit the post.