Soren's trial of strength tomorrow

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Ranchi, Aug 28 (UNI) Hectic parleys marked the UPA camp as JMM president Shibu Soren, who took oath as the sixth Chief Minister of Jharkhand yesterday, will go for trial of strength tomorrow.

The UPA allies kept busy making strategies--to remain united to sail through the confidence motion besides countering possible opposition onslaught that might corner the treasury bench during the debate.

The special session of the Assembly is scheduled to begin at 1100 hrs.

Mr Soren claimed to have the support of 42 legislators, a comfortable majority in the effecive 81-member House. One seat fell vacant following assassination of Ramesh Singh Munda (JD-U) by Maoists last month.

The 42-member list comprises JMM (17), Congress (nine), RJD (seven), United Goan Democratic Party (two), Jharkhand Party (one), Nationalist Congress Party (one), Forward Bloc (one) and four independent MLAs --- Madhu Koda, Stephen Marandi, Harinarai Rai and Bhanu Pratap Sahi.

However, all was not well for Mr Soren as the Congress made obvious their ''unhappiness'' about the way the party was treated by the JMM in the past few days.

Yesterday at the oath-taking ceremony no Congress MLAs were present except for senior party leader Subodh Kant Sahay (MP) and speaker Alamgir Alam. Even state party president Pradeep Kumar Balmuchu made a token presence at the ceremony at the function.

The Congress maintained that Mr Alam was present in the capacity as a Speaker only.

The party insiders requesting anonymity said, the state level was not happy about the formation of the Soren government as in the 12-member government four were from JMM-Chief Minister himself, Sudhir Mahto, Dulal Bhuiyan and Nalin Soren.

The Congress said it was unfair that the JMM alone would take one third of the ministry.

So far, both the Congress and RJD were suuposed to support the Soren government from outside.

During his first stint as Chief Minister that lasted only for nine days, Guruji (Soren) had to step down as he failed to obtain majority on March 11, 2005.

UNI AM-PRS KK AE AS1751

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