I am not in race for Deputy CM's post: Hemant Soren

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Ranchi, Aug 3: Hemant Soren, son of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) president and former Coal Minister Sibu Soren, today strongly reacted to a news report about his ''willingness'' to become Deputy Chief Minister of the state.

The junior Soren, president of the party's student's wing, told the sources here he was in no way in the race for the post and termed the report as ''concocted'' to malign his image. He also dismissed the earlier news report that the JMM leadership was bargaining for the Deputy Chief Minister's post for him prior to the trust vote held in Parliament on July 22. ''There was no such discussion involving me with the UPA central leadership,'' he claimed.

When he was asked about the JMM president and also his father's claim over the Chief Minister's post instead of a berth in the Union Cabinet, Hemant said, ''There is no dearth of people to work in New Delhi but the state requires a figure like 'guruji' to run the show.'' Meanwhile, the JMM camp here, which was upbeat till the other day with reports of their president vouching for the chair of the Chief Minister, was apparently looking dejected as some of the senior party leaders indicated that there was no ''hurry'' to look for change in leadership, an indication favouring present incumbent Madhu Koda for the time being.

''Guruji has never got his due as detractors are always up in arms against him,'' the party insiders said.

They cited the recent political crisis dogging the Manmohan Singh government in which the JMM president played a crucial role in saving the government.

''Once the floor test was over, the UPA central leadership has started giving cold vibes to Mr Soren,'' the party sources alleged, indicating ''delay'' in keeping the promises given to them before the floor test.

The JMM president, who was here a few days ago, held a meeting of the party's legislature wing and they ''partially'' backed him in his demand for the Chief Minister's post.

Mr Soren, however, made it clear that he was expecting a final decision (whether a berth in Cabinet or assignment in the state) after the Prime Minister returned from foreign tour.

Chief Minister Madhu Koda also said he would act according to the decision of the UPA's central leadership.

UNI

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