Soren offers list of 42 before Guv

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Ranchi, Aug 25 (UNI) JMM president Shibu Soren today staked claim to form the new government in Jharkhand with support of 42 MLAs, after successfully bringing the Independent group into his own fold.

Mr Soren accompanied by RJD president and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, Minister of State for Food Processing Subodh Kant Sahay, senior RJD leader Jayprakash Narayan and outgoing Chief Minister Madhu Koda called on Governor Syed Sibtey Razi to hand over a list of his supporters at 1600 hrs.

This ended the more than week-long political drama that began with withdrawal of support by the JMM to the Madhu Koda-led UPA government on August 17 that finally forced Mr Koda to resign two days back.

Swinging into full action after Mr Koda resigned on August 23, Mr Soren met all the Independent MLAs individually who had been standing united till last afternoon.

But within hours, most of them executed ''volte face'' suddenly shifting allegiance to Mr Soren that set the stage for the JMM president to stake claim.

The Independents said they extended support in exchange of their 12-point demand.

However, the AJSU with two legislators--Mr Sudesh Mahto and Chandraprakash Chaudhuri refused to join the UPA fold.

Enthused by the much-expected support from the Independdents and backed by the support of Congress (9), RJD (7) besides the party's strength of 17, Mr Soren last night sent two representatives to the Raj Bhavan seeking appointment with the Governor.

Earlier in the day, success finally blessed the JMM president when defiant Madhu Koda also gave into the Soren-camp's pressure when RJD president Lalu Prasad and 'Guruji' went to persuade him.

UNI AM-PRS KK SP UCS1746

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