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
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
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
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
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