Soren Cabinet to have ministers from Congress, RJD too

The CM-designate Hemant Soren on Thursday met Lalu Prasad to finalise who could be the minister from the RJD quota but since Lalu’s outfit has won just one seat, the likely choice could be Satyanand Bhokta, the RJD MLA who won from naxal-infested Chatra.

Two days before JMM working president Hemant Soren is slated to take oath as the Chief Minister of Jharkhand, the modalities are being worked out as to who all will join the Mahagatbandhan Cabinet. The JMM, which led the alliance, won 30 seats while the Congress and the RJD won 16 and one seat respectively in the 81-member Assembly.

According to reliable sources in the Grand Alliance, a formula has been thrashed out between the three constituents – JMM, Congress and RJD, where the ministers will be part of the new regime in the ratio of 6:4:1. The swearing-in will take place at Ranchi’s Morabadi Ground on Sunday.

Of the six ministers from JMM quota, those in the reckoning are former Deputy Chief Minister Stephen Marandi and veteran JMM legislator Nalin Soren. The latter’s claim to ministership is all the more as he has won from Shikaripara for the seventh consecutive time since 1990.

From the Congress quota, the list of probables is too long although only four could be inducted in the ministry as of now. Former Speaker Alamgir Alam, who won from Pakur, after Priyanka Gandhi gave a final push to his campaigning in the last phase, tops the list. IPS officer-turned-politician Rameshwar Oraon, who won from Lohardagga, is Jharkhand Congress president and has, therefore, rightful claim to be inducted into the new Cabinet. Earlier, Oraon had served as Union Minister in UPA regime when he was a Lok Sabha MP from Lohardagga.

The CM-designate Hemant Soren on Thursday met Lalu Prasad to finalise who could be the minister from the RJD quota but since Lalu’s outfit has won just one seat, the likely choice could be Satyanand Bhokta, the RJD MLA who won from naxal-infested Chatra.

“I met Lalu ji today and sought his blessings. I am starting this new phase on a positive note and want to take along everyone, including my opponents. It is in this context that I have decided to withdraw my FIR lodged against the outgoing Chief Minister Raghubar Das. Political rivals are not enemies,” said Hemant after meeting Lalu at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi.

Hemant had earlier lodged an FIR against Das at SC/ST police station in Dumka accusing the outgoing CM of hurling abuse against him. “An FIR was registered against Das where he was charged under Sections 504 (intentional insult, with intent to provoke breach of peace), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other provisions of the SC/ST Act,” a police source informed Deccan Herald.

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