JMM seeks time to form government


Ranchi, Jan 12 (IANS) The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) Saturday sought more time for forming an alternative government in the state.

JMM chief Shibu Soren, his son Hemant Soren and other leaders made the request when they met Governor Syed Ahmad here.

"We had requested the governor to give us some more time for formation of the government in the state," Hemant Soren told reporters afterwards.

"The possibilities of alternative government exist in the state and the governor should explore the possibilities."

Hemant Soren returned here Friday night after meeting Congress leaders in Delhi. He said that the Congress would decide about the formation of an alternative government.

The 28-month Bharatiya Janata Party-led Arjun Munda government fell after JMM withdrew support Jan 8. The Munda cabinet had recommended dissolution of the state assembly.

Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) delegations also separately met the governor and requested not to accept the cabinet's decision to dissolve the assembly.

"We requested the governor to consider it if JMM stakes claim to form the government. We will inform him (governor) after talking to central leaders. We do not want president's rule in the state," Congress legislative party leader Rajendra Singh told reporters after the meeting.

RJD legislative party leader Annapurna Devi also met the governor and requested him not to dissolve the house. "We requested him to explore possibilities of formation of the government in the state," she said.

JMM has been exploring the possibility of forming a government in the state with Congress backing.

Congress legislators and leaders in the state are in favour of the formation of the alternative government, but are yet to get any concrete assurance from the Congress high command, say party sources.

Congress, RJD and some Independent legislators could support an alternative government led by the JMM.

If such an agreement were to be arrived at, the Congress, RJD and Independents, along with the JMM could attempt a coalition comprising 41 legislators.

Of the 82 legislators in the state, 37 are in favour of fresh polls.

The 37 include 18 of the BJP, six of All Jharkhand Students' Union (AJSU), two of Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and 11 of the Jharkhand Vikas Morch-P (JVM-P).

The AJSU chief also met the governor and requested to dissolve the house as recommended by the cabinet.

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