Soren to stake claim after August 25

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Ranchi, Aug 23 (UNI) Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) president Shibu Soren tonight said he would stake claim to form the alternative government after August 25.

Mr Soren returned from New Delhi this evening when Chief Minister Madhu Koda was at Raj Bhavan tendering his resignation along with five other Ministers (all Independents) to Governor Syed Sibtey Razi.

Mr Soren, having the backing of the RJD with seven Legislators besides his party strength of 17 in the House of 82, tried to look unruffled despite Mr Koda's open statement about not extending support of Independents to him, a key to formation of the new government.

According to a report from New Delhi, the Congress welcomed the resignation of Mr Koda, and said it would support the candidature of the JMM chief but it was for him to ensure the numbers.

The Congress said the main concern of the party was to keep the communal forces at bay.

Mr Koda announced his resignation from the chief ministership a day after he held discussions with UPA chief Sonia Gandhi.

Mr Soren on his return from the national capital did not talk much to the reporters at the Birsa Munda airport, only saying he would stake claim after August 25.

Mr Koda was supposed to go for floor test on that day in the special session of the Assembly.

UNI PRS SJC AB BDP VC2058

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