JMM non-committal on Soren contesting bypoll

Ranchi: JMM on Tuesday remained non-committal on whether Chief Minister Shibu Soren would contest the mandatory bypoll to enter the assembly but said his government was safe and would continue as the party did not want another spell of President's rule or mid-term poll in the state.

"We have left the decision (on the bypoll) on Guruji (Soren). It is his wish, whether to contest or not," JMM leader and Jharkhand HRD Minister Hemlal Murmu told reporters here.

Soren, JMM MP from Dumka, had assumed power in December with support from BJP following a fractured mandate and is required to win a bypoll to enter the house by June end.

"The alliance government is safe and will continue. The dialogue process among the alliance partners will also continue on all matters," he said, adding, the decision on JMM-led government continuing was taken unanimously by JMMLP.

Sidestepping a query on Soren's son and JMMLP leader Hemant's April 29 letter to ally BJP saying his father would quit from his post if the party desired to allow a leader of its choice to head a future coalition, Murmu said everything would be discussed "as and when required" during the process of dialogue.

Soren had shocked all when he sided with the UPA during the vote on cut-motions on the Finance Bill in Parliament in spite of his party's alliance with BJP in Jharkhand.

Following this, BJP initially announced its withdrawal of support to the JMM but put it on hold.