5-member JMM to decide on July 19 if it would back UPA

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Bokaro, Jul 14 (UNI) Keeping suspense alive, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha president and former coal minister Sibu Soren has said he would take a final decision on July 19 whether to back the Congress-led UPA government on its floor test.

Mr Soren at the same time dismissed rumours about his having any ''parley'' with BJP leaders and asserted that in the wake of the latest development in New Delhi, his party's stake in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Council of Ministers got firmer.

Yesterday, Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, who recently returned from New Delhi, called on the JMM supremo here apparently with a message from Congress high command Sonia Gandhi.

Mr Soren, whose party was miffed at not being accommodated in the government--one cabinet berth and one MoS (as it was proposed)--made no bones to convey the message that his party was buying time in a bid to lobby hard in the run up to the crucial trust vote scheduled to be held on July 22.

Mr Soren said he would hold meeting with other four party MPs, either in New Delhi or Ranchi, on July 19 on the issue and added that the final deciison must be a ''consensus''.

The former Union Minister's coal portfolio was stripped, following a legal tangle involving him in a murder case. However, he was later acquitted by the Delhi High Court.

But, even after that Mr Soren was not reinstated which ''angered'' Jharkhand's ''guruji'' to a great extent.


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