Hemant Soren may stake claim to form government Tuesday

    By IANS,

    Ranchi : Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader and chief ministerial candidate Hemant Soren may claim stake to form the government in Jharkhand Tuesday, sources in the party revealed.

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    The sources said the JMM has managed to win the support of 40 legislators, and two more legislators are expected to extend their support to the party by Monday evening.

    “We have got the support of four independent legislators. Talks are on with three more, and we are hopeful of getting their support by Monday evening. Hemant Soren may meet Governor Syed Ahmad Tuesday to stake claim to form the government,” a JMM source told IANS.

    The source said four independent legislators – Bandhu Tirkey, Chamra Linda, Videsh Singh and Harinarayan Rai – have agreed to support the JMM.

    Talks are going on with three other legislators – Geeta Koda, wife of former Chief Minister Madhu Koda, former minister and independent legislator Enos Ekka, and Marxist Coordination Committee (MCC) legislator Arup Chatterji.

    JMM sources say that a few leaders met Madhu Koda, who is serving a sentence in a corruption case in a Ranchi jail, to request the support of his legislator wife.

    The Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) have already announced their support to the formation of a JMM-led government in the state.

    The delay, sources said, could be attributed to the demands that are being put forth by independent legislators in exchange for their support to the JMM.

    Some independent legislators want a berth in the cabinet as a condition of their support. Jharkhand can have a maximum of only 12 ministers, including the chief minister, and sources say demands for a cabinet berth are hard to accept.

    An understanding has reportedly been reached to grant five cabinet berths to the Congress, and two to the RJD. The JMM will have to adjust any independents in the cabinet on its own quota of five berths.

    In the 82-member Jharkhand assembly, the JMM has 18 seats, the Congress 13 and the RJD five.

    This way, the JMM has managed the support of 36 legislators. If the four independents too extend their support, the number of legislators supporting the government would be 40.

    The JMM would need the support of at least 42 legislators to form the government.

    The six-month period of President’s rule in the state ends July 18.