Even as Jharkhand languishes in the grip of political uncertainty, talks between the Congress and JMM remain stuck on the crucial issue of who will lead the coalition government.
Sources said the Congress has conveyed to the JMM leadership that it has the support of independents and smaller parties, apart from the RJD, and should therefore lead the coalition.
Sources said the JMM leadership, on the other hand, is keen on having its own chief minister - given that it would be the biggest party in case of an alliance with the Congress.
Soren is learnt to have urged the Congress to play the role of "guardian" and help form the next government in the state because Jharkhand has "suffered under President's rule twice already".
Soren's reputation for being a slippery customer has also divided the Congress on the issue of striking an alliance with JMM.
Two independents - Bandhu Tirkey and Chamara Linda - also met Ahmed at the Congress headquarters to allay fears that they will create trouble in the formation and functioning of an alternative dispensation.