Bargaining in Jharkhand began after all nine ministers in the Koda government gave in to the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha’s (JMM) wishes and accepted Shibu Soren as leader of the House.
JMM insiders said the legislators had placed many demands before announcing support to Soren.
“If the independents’ wishlist is fulfilled, Soren will be the chief minister without a portfolio,” quipped a JMM leader.
Sources said All Jharkhand Students’ Union (AJSU) president Sudesh Mahto wanted the post of deputy CM and the home ministry.
Chandra Prakash Choudhary asked for the land and revenue and science and technology portfolios. He also sought an assurance that JMM would not field a candidate against him at Ramgarh in the next assembly elections.
Soren was unable to accept their demands and the duo refused to budge. JMM chose to go without the AJSU.
Deputy CM in the Koda government Stephen Marandi has again staked his claim to the energy ministry and the Parliamentary Affairs and Finance portfolios he was keeping.
While the JMM is understood to have accepted Marandi’s demand for deputy CM, it is non-committal about the energy department.
The JMM is working out ways to preempt any trouble.
Soren told HT that “the decision reached at the UPA’s meeting on August 22 is final”.
The final outcome, however, is hinged on what the ministry suggests in the next three days.