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JMM inches closer to Congress camp

JMM, which has given sleepless nights to a nervous UPA, appeared inclined to move towards the ruling coalition after its elusive party chief Shibu Soren agreed to establish contact with the Congress, reports Nagendar Sharma.
By Nagendar Sharma | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 22, 2012 01:42 PM IST

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, which has given sleepless nights to a nervous UPA, on Friday appeared inclined to move towards the ruling coalition after its elusive party chief Shibu Soren agreed to establish contact with the Congress.

Soren, who had made his displeasure with Congress leaders public for being kept out of the Cabinet after Delhi High Court acquitted him in a murder case last year, had been avoiding the alliance for a fortnight.

The latest contact between the two seemed to have ended the suspense on the stand likely to be taken by the five JMM MPs during the vote. The Congress has reportedly agreed to re-induct Soren into the Cabinet as Coal Minister for the third time, party sources said.

The JMM is expected to announce its final decision after a meeting of its parliamentary board meeting on Saturday.

Though there was no word from Soren himself, his party’s chief whip in Lok Sabha, Tek Lal Mahto, said the JMM was always a part of the UPA and had never parted ways. He confirmed the conversation between the PM and Soren, but refused to divulge details.

“We have been a part of the UPA since the 2004 general elections. At no point did we say that JMM had broken away from the alliance, either in Jharkhand or at the Centre. All we had said was we would decide our stand on the nuclear deal later.”

He said the party has put two conditions before the government — shifting headquarters of Coal India Limited and Damodar Valley Corporation from West Bengal to Jharkhand.

“There should be no problem in accepting these genuine demands as the government is no longer dependant on the Left parties for survival,” Mahto said.

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