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Soren all set to take oath as CM; asked to take floor test by Jan 8

Last updated on: December 28, 2009 23:02 IST

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha supremo Shibu Soren has been given ten days time to prove his five-party coalition's majority on the floor of the state assembly after he takes oath as Chief Minister of Jharkand on Wednesday.

A Raj Bhavan communique said on Monday night that Jharkhand Governor K Sankaranaryanan has asked the 65-year-old two-time chief minister to take a floor test by January 8.

Soren was invited by the governor on Sunday to form the government. In the 81-member assembly, Soren's coalition got the support of 44 MLAs with JMM having 18, Bharatiya Janata Party 18, Janata Dal-United 2, All Jharkhand Student's Union 5 and Jharkhand Janadhikar Manch one.

The new government is the seventh in the mineral-rich state since its creation nine years back. The oath-taking time has been re-scheduled from 2 pm to 10.30 am, the communique said.

The new government is likely to have three ministers from JMM and four from BJP, sources in the coalition said, adding there could be two deputy chief ministers-- one from the BJP and another from the AJSU.

As per the Constitutional requirement, there can be 12 ministers including the CM in the 81-member state assembly.

Senior leaders Hemlal Murmu and Hussain Ansari are among the frontrunners for ministerial berths in JMM. The BJP may get four ministerial berths.

Besides Raghuvir Das, the other party names doing the rounds are of Baijnath Ram, Arun Mandal and Nilkanth Singh Munda.

AJSU's Chandra Prakash Choudhary and Kamal Kishore Bhagat and Sudesh Mahto might get ministerial berths, AJSU insiders said.

To accommodate a woman candidate, Soren might pick up JD-U's Sudha Choudhary, sources said. Soren also went to Mumbai for a meeting with the new BJP president Nitin Gadkari after which he said the new alliance will provide a 'stable government.'

"Our efforts will be to provide a clean and stable government. Jharkhand is a mineral rich state but the people remain poor. Our efforts will be to uplift the poor," the JMM chief said at a joint press conference with Gadkari in Mumbai.

To this end, he said, a common minimum programme would be formulated by all the coalition partners. Gadkari said all the alliance partners will evolve a common programme for governance in Jharkhand and will ensure all-round development of the state.

The Union Cabinet will meet on Tuesday and is likely to recommend lifting of president's rule in Jharkhand to pave the way for formation of the new government on Wednesday.

Incidentally, Soren was the chief minister till the president's rule was imposed in the state in January this year. The home ministry has prepared a note to be placed before the Cabinet meeting to be chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, official sources said on Monday.

The Cabinet is likely to recommend to President Pratibha Patil lifting of the Central rule imposed on January 19 this year on the state.

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