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Shibu Soren hunting for seat to contest

Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren is hunting for a safe seat to contest a by-election to get elected to the state Assembly.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2010 12:46 IST

Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren is hunting for a safe seat to contest a by-election to get elected to the state Assembly.

Soren has to decide before June 30. The problem is none of the legislators in his Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) are willing to give up their seats for him.

His allies, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU), are naturally concerned.

"JMM is delaying an important decision," said AJSU's Kamal Kishore Bhagat.

Soren is serving as the chief minister of Jharkhand for a third term. He was sworn in Dec 30. As a constitutional obligation, he has to assume the membership of the state assembly by June 30.

At present Soren is the Lok Sabha MP from Dumka. On Monday, he flew to the national capital to attend a Lok Sabha session.

JMM legislator Simon Marandi thinks that Barhet is a safe assembly seat and that Human Resource Development Minister Hemalal Murmu should offer it to "Guruji" -- as Soren is called -- "as guru dakshina".

Murmu does not agree. "Simon is also a legislator. Why is he not giving up his seat?" he asked.

The other seats considered safe for Soren to contest and win are Dumka, represented by the chief minister's son Hemant Soren, and Jama, from where his daughter-in-law Sita was elected, as well as Shikaripara and Borio.

But neither Hemant nor Sita are ready for the sacrifice.

As for JMM's other legislators, they have a ready answer: no one has asked them. "We will see when the issue is brought ot our notice," said JMM's Nalin Soren.

And so, the chief minister's search for a safe seat continues.