Soren-BJP stakes claim

Soren-BJP stakes claim

BJP national general secretary Anant Kumar and Jharkhand incharge Karuna Shukla flashing the victory sign with party's newly elected MLAs after a meeting in Ranchi on Saturday. PTI

Emboldened by the support, JMM leader Shibu Soren on Saturday called on Governor K Sankaranarayanan and staked claim to form the new government with the support of the BJP and the All Jharkhand Students’ Union (AJSU).

 A 21-member delegation led by Soren handed over a list of 42 legislators–one above the majority mark–to the governor. The other members of the delegation included BJP state unit chief Raghubar Das, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, former chief minister Arjun Munda, Soren’s son Hemant Soren and AJSU president Sudesh Mahto.

The developments came three days after Jharkhand threw up a fractured mandate with the Congress-Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) combine emerging as the largest pre-poll block with 25 MLAs, closely followed by the NDA’s 20 and the JMM’s 18.

Poised to hold power for the first time in the state, the Congress-JVM (P) combine was keen on forming the government with the support of the JMM, but it was not in favour of conceding the latter’s demand for the chief minister’s chair.

Emerging from his meeting with the governor, a beaming Shibu Soren said he had the support of the BJP, JD (U) and the AJSU, and that the combination crossed the majority mark. “I am confident that we would be able to give a stable government,” he said.
Earlier, justifying the saffron party’s move to tie up with its old rival the JMM, BJP State president Raghuvar Das said: “In the interests of the state, stability is the need of the hour. Hence the party decided to support the JMM.”

Speaking to reporters at the Governor’s House, AJSU president Sudesh Mahto said his party was supporting the JMM for the sake of a stable and corruption-free government.
Though the BJP and the AJSU did not reveal the modalities of the government, sources said there would be two deputy chief ministers—Raghubar Das of the BJP and Sudesh Mahto of the AJSU.

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