Hung Assembly in Jharkhand, Soren`s JMM holds key
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Last Updated: Wednesday, December 23, 2009, 21:59
Ranchi: Jharkhand elections threw up a hung Assembly on Wednesday with Shibu Soren's JMM holding the key to formation of the new government, as the Congress-JVM(P) alliance emerged as the single largest group but fell way short of majority.

As political uncertainty started at the mineral-rich following the fractured verdict after President's Rule for nearly a year, the Cong-JVM(P) combine with 25 seats and the BJP-JD(U) alliance with 20 seats wooed Soren, a two-time chief minister. The magic figure is 41 in a House of 81.

Signs of a tough bargain came from JMM, which said that the party's support would go to anyone who would support "Guruji"(Soren) for chief ministership.

Reeling under a string of electoral debacles, the BJP had no respite and fared badly getting only 18 seats down by 12 while JD(U) got two, down by four.

Continuing its good electoral run since the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress, which fought in alliance with Babulal Marandi led-JVM(P), bagged 14 seats, five more than in the previous polls. Its partner, JVM(P) headed by former chief minister Babulal Marandi, which fought the state elections for the first time, romped home with an impressive 11 seats.

JMM, fighting on its own, secured 18 seats, down by one.

Another party which could play an important role is RJD, Congress' former ally and now outside supporter of the UPA government at the Centre. Lalu Prasad's party has got 5 seats that could be crucial to formation of a government of a secular combine.

Both the Congress and BJP made it clear that they were keen on forming a government in which 13 MLAs belonging to the 'Others' category and Independents would be much-sought after by rival combinations.

"Based on the numbers, talks will be held to form a government," said Shibu Soren shortly after the verdict.

Soren's son Hemant, who won from Dumka, said "without the JMM, nobody can form a government. We will meet tonight to discuss our future course of action."

Expressing Congress' desire that it wants to lead the next coalition, party spokesman Manish Tewari said: "The Congress is the single largest party in the single largest group".

"In certain circumstances stepping up for public service is also a sacrifice," he said in New Delhi when asked whether the party is ready to make sacrifices on its claim for chief ministership.

Congress leaders described RJD as a "UPA constituent" and JMM chief Shibu Soren as a "family member" despite the fact that they were not part of the Congress-led pre-poll alliance.

The BJP Parliamentary Board met in New Delhi under the chairmanship of the newly-elected President Nitin Gadkari to discuss the strategy in Jharkhand.

After the meeting, Parliamentary Board spokesman Ananth Kumar did not rule out the possibility of party trying to form the government.

RJD chief Lalu Prasad indicated that he was ready to forge an alliance with Congress and JMM for forming a government.

The RJD-led alliance fared badly winning only six seats -- RJD - five and Marxist Coordination Committee - one.

RJD had won seven seats in the previous Assembly and played a key role in the formation of the Madhu Koda and Shibu Soren governments, which, however, did not last their full term.

President's Rule was imposed on the state in January 19 this year after Soren, who was not a member of the Assembly then, lost in a by-election and had to step down as chief minister.

Key Winners:

  • Geeta Koda (Mudhu Koda’s wife), Independent from Jagannathpur

  • Deepak Bira (JMM) from Chaibasa

  • Nalin Soren (JMM) from Shikaripara

  • Hemant Soren from Dumka

  • Sudesh Kumar Mahto from Silli

  • Sita Soren (JMM) from Jama

    Key losers:

  • Stephen Marandi (INC) from Dumka

  • Former minister Enos Ekka (Jharkhand Party-Ekka) from Simdega

  • RK Kishore from Chhatarpur

  • Alamgir Alam from Pakaur


    First Published: Wednesday, December 23, 2009, 21:59

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