Congress and JMM today inched closer to government formation in Jharkhand,with Hemant Soren holding a long meeting with AICC general secretary B K Hariprasad,who is incharge of Jharkhand affairs. Hemant Soren,son of JMM leader Shibu Soren,who is tipped to be the next chief minister,along with senior JMM leader Champai Soren,held a two-and-a-half hour meeting with Hariprasad to work out modalities of the new coalition government which will work on a common minimum programme (CMP).
Sources said the announcement of the new government in Jharkhand could be made within a day or even by the evening as discussion on ministers and their portfolios took place during today’s meeting. The CMP has also been discussed and final touches are being given.
The tribal-dominated state is under President’s Rule since January 18 after the collapse of the Arjun Munda-led BJP government following the withdrawal of support by JMM on January 8. President’s Rule in the state is set to expire on July 18. Congress has agreed to have a JMM chief minister in the state. In lieu,the regional party has consented to give a lion’s share of nine to ten Lok Sabha seats to Congress out of a total of 14 in the state.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad has assured both JMM and Congress of his party’s support to a new government. JMM and Congress,which have 18 and 13 MLAs respectively,need the support of 11 more legislators to form a government in the 81-member state assembly. RJD has 5 MLAs in the House. CPI-ML (L),Marxist Coordination Party,Jharkhand Party (Ekka),Jharkhand Janadhikar Manch and Jai Bharat Samta Party have one member each besides an Independent. Political uncertainties have dogged Jharkhand ever since it was carved out of Bihar in 2000 as the state has remained under President’s Rule thrice–2009,2010 and 2013.
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