Parliament on Friday approved extension of President's rule in Jharkhand by another six months with Rajya Sabha approving the measure after an assurance by the Government that assembly polls would be held there "at the earliest opportunity".
"We will hold elections at the earliest opportunity. Whether the House is dissolved or kept in suspended animation, it is necessary to extend the President's rule", Home Minister P Chidambaram told the Upper House while replying to the discussion on the motion for extension of the Central rule.
Chidambarm said the ministry would write to the Election Commission to fix the date and when elections are announced, the assembly will be dissolved.
The Rajya Sabha later returned the Jharkhand Budget and the related Appropriation Bill to the Lok Sabha.
Jharkhand was placed under President's rule on January 19 and the term of the Central rule was to expire on July 18. Lok Sabha has already approved the extension.
Chidambaram promised that he would pay more attention to Jharkhand and see the administration is toned up after members complained that the law and order situation had deteriorated in the absence of a duly elected government and demanded immediate dissolution of the state assembly and fresh polls.
He said a number of development measures have been taken up during the President's rule including setting up of Jharkhand Food and Civil Supplies Corporation and a package for Heavy Engineering Corporation.