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Ahead of trust vote, Soren resigns as Jharkhand CM

Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren resigned from his post late Sunday, a day before he was to prove his majority in the state assembly. He met state Governor M O H Farook to submit his resignation. Soren: Third time unlucky | Soren's political bandwagonThe six resignations

india Updated: May 31, 2010 02:20 IST

Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren resigned from his post late Sunday, a day before he was to prove his majority in the state assembly.

Soren, who heads the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), met state Governor M O H Farook and submitted his resignation Sunday evening.

A JMM source said the party leaders met for the second time in the day at 6 pm to chalk out a strategy. Sources said that eight of the JMM's 18 legislators refused to face the trust vote Monday.

"There was no other option left...(for Soren but to resign)", a JMM legislator said on the condition of anonymity.

JMM legislator Stephen Marandi alleged that Soren's legislator-son Hemant was trying to forge the signatures of party legislators to show that they are ready to face the trust motion.

The JMM-led government was reduced to minority after the party's ally the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) finally withdrew support May 24 after 10 days of dilly-dallying.

After its talks with the BJP collapsed on the issue of sharing power by rotation of 28 months each, the JMM has been in talks with both the Congress and the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) to form an alternative government and avoid President's Rule in the state.

But with the Congress and its ally JVM-P failing to commit support to the JMM, Soren found no option left for him but to resign.

The JMM has 18 legislators in the 82-member house. Its five-month old government was propped up by the BJP with 18 members, the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) with five legislators and the Janata Dal-United's two members.

The Congress has 14 members, the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik 11, the Rashtriya Janata Dal five legislators and five Independents.

Jharkhand was plunged into another bout of political uncertainity after Soren voted against the BJP's cut motions on the federal budgetary cuts in Lok Sabha last month.

This led the BJP to announce withdrawal of support from the JMM April 28. Two days later, the BJP put its withdrawal decision on hold.

On May 8, the JMM announced that it would support the BJP.

On May 18, the BJP agreed to a power rotation deal with Soren. But again two days later, Soren did another about turn and refused to quit.

He announced that talks were on with both the BJP and the Congress for the formation of an alternative government in Jharkhand.

First Published: May 30, 2010 21:59 IST