Shibu all set to become Jharkhand CM with BJP support
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Last Updated: Saturday, December 26, 2009, 19:51
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 moneylenders.

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.


First Published: Saturday, December 26, 2009, 19:51

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