Mahto slams Congress for denying Soren ministerial berth

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Jamshedpur, Apr 8 (UNI) Jharkhand Deputy Chief Minister Sudhir Mahto today said that denial of a ministerial berth to Jharkhand Mukti Morcha(JMM) supremeo Shibu Soren in the recent cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was 'unfortunate and uncalled for'.

Talking to newspersons here Mr Mahto said when Mr Soren was acquitted of all charges levelled against him by the court, he should have been re-inducted into the cabinet.

''Guruji is not only a leader of Jharkhand but is also considered a prominent national leader and his exclusion is nothing but injustice to him and Jharkhand,'' Mr Mahto said.

Criticizing the Congress, Mr Mahto said the party had 'violated' the understanding of a coalition government.

He said despite the 'injustice' meted out to Guruji, the JMM would continue to be an ally of the UPA.

He said no decision had been taken to sever ties with the UPA right now.

To a question about joining hands with the BJP in Jharkhand after Congress's 'ditching' of Guruji, Mr Mahto denied such reports, saying on principle the JMM always supported secularism and the party would not keep any track with a 'communal' party like the BJP.

UNI BDG PL SS1651

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