Soren to take oath as Jharkhand CM on Dec 30

Jharkhand Governor K Sankarananaryanan has invited the JMM chief to form the new government on December 30.

Updated: Dec 27, 2009, 22:48 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Ranchi: The political crisis in Jharkhand seems to be nearing end as the process of the installation of a democratically-elected government began on Sunday evening with state Governor K Sankarananaryanan inviting JMM chief Shibu Soren to form the new government on December 30.

"Soren will be sworn in at 2:00 pm on December 30, which
he told the Governor would be convenient for him," Raj Bhavan
source said here.

This would be Soren`s third term as chief minister, while
it would be the seventh coalition government in the state
since its creation on November 15, 2000.

The development came a day after Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Shibu Soren staked claim to form the government with support from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU). The Janata Dal-United is also lending support to JMM.

Soren had on Saturday met the Governor and handed a list of 42 legislators supporting him in the 81-member state Assembly. The list included 18 legislators each of the JMM and the BJP, five of the AJSU and one Independent. Later in the day, JD-U legislator Sudha Choudhary met the Governor and gave her party`s letter of support. This took the number of legislators supporting Soren to 44.

Earlier today, Governor Sankaranarayanan had urged President Pratibha Patil to revoke President`s Rule in the state to allow a new government to be formed, according to Raj Bhawan sources.

The Governor sent a report to the President on the political situation in Jharkhand after the November 25-December 18 Assembly Elections, a source in the Governor`s house said.

Jharkhand came under President`s Rule on January 19 after no alliance came forward to form government following Shibu Soren`s resignation as the chief minister. Soren quit after losing the Tamar Assembly Election.

Though no formal announcement has been made about the coalition, sources in the JMM said the formula for the next government has been finalised and there will be two deputy chief ministers - one each from the BJP and the AJSU.

Raghubar Das of the BJP and Sudesh Mahto of AJSU would be made deputy chief ministers, sources added.

As far as Cabinet berths are concerned, the JMM and BJP could get four each and the AJSU two, while the JD-U may get one berth. Jharkhand can have a maximum of 12 ministers, including the chief minister. The Assembly Speaker`s post would go to the BJP, the sources added.

The JMM had Friday announced it would form the next government with the BJP, spurning the last-ditch efforts of the Congress to woo it. Union Food Processing Minister Subodh Kant Sahay met Soren Friday night to dissuade him from joining hands with BJP, while Congress leaders also reportedly met the AJSU president. However, the talks foundered as Shibu Soren refused to accept anything less than the chief minister`s post.

The five-phase Assembly Poll results on December 23 threw up a fractured mandate with the Congress and its ally, the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) of former chief minister Babulal Marandi winning 25 seats, while the JMM and the BJP won 18 each.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) have five seats each, while the JD-U has two. The remaining eight seats were won by small parties and Independents.

(With IANS inputs)