Arjun Munda to be sworn in as Jharkhand CM today
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Arjun Munda to be sworn in as Jharkhand CM today

The BJP leader was named to the post following Soren's resignation after failing to prove his majority in House.

india Updated: Mar 12, 2005 02:38 IST

Climaxing a day-long political drama, Chief Minister Shibu Soren bowed out of office after failing to prove his majority in the state assembly as directed by the Supreme Court following which BJP leader Arjun Munda was appointed to the post. He has been asked to prove his majority in the state assembly by March 21.

Putting up a last-minute resistance of sorts before Governor Sibtey Razi, who called him to quit, Soren, who was sworn in as Chief Minister on March 9, refused to tender his resignation during the hour-long meeting at the Raj Bhawan on Friday evening.

He went home and only after some persuasion by some Congress leaders he announced his resignation at a press conference close to midnight, the deadline set by the Supreme Court for completing the trial of strength.

Almost half past midnight, Munda, who had been the Chief Minister for close to four years, met the Governor who gave him the appointment letter. Munda will be sworn in as the Chief Minister on Saturday at 3 pm, a Raj Bhawan communiqué said.

The die was cast for the JMM chief in Delhi shortly before his meeting with the Governor when Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil said after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs that constitutional propriety demanded that Soren should resign.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was upset at the constitutional "deadlock" created by pro tem Assembly Speaker Pradeep Kumar failure to hold the trial of strength as he set himself on a collision course with the apex court.

The Government also disagreed with the Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee's suggestion for a Presidential reference to the apex court on its interim order on the trial of strength in Jharkhand.

First Published: Mar 12, 2005 00:50 IST