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Shibu Soren sworn in as Jharkhand CM

Source: PTI
Last updated on: March 02, 2005 19:58 IST
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Jharkhand Mukti Morcha chief Shibu Soren was sworn in as Jharkhand chief minister after Governor Syed Sibtey Razi invited him to form the government on Wednesday.

The governor's controversial decision triggered protests by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, which dubbed it a `constitutional outrage.'

JMM leader Stephen Marandi, who had revolted against Soren after he was denied a ticket for the election, was sworn in as deputy chief minister at the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi.

No one from the Congress, which had forged a pre-poll alliance with the JMM, was inducted into the ministry.

Joba Manjhi and Bandhu Tirkey of the United Goans Democratic Party, Girinath Singh and Annapurna Devi of the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Kamlesh Kumar Singh of the Nationalist Congress Party were sworn in as ministers.

Manjhi was tourism minister in the BJP-led NDA government.

The governor asked Soren to prove his majority on the floor of the 81-member assembly by March 21.

Soren resigned from the Union cabinet after he became the third chief minister of Jharkhand, which came into being more than four years ago.

The governor invited Soren immediately after the JMM chief, accompanied by All India Congress Committee general secretary Harikesh Bahadur, had an hour-long meeting. Soren claimed the support of 42 legislators at the meeting.

Earlier, five Independent MLAs met the governor to pledge support to the NDA, which had submitted a list of 41 MLAs.

Soon after the Raj Bhavan made an announcement inviting Soren to form the government, NDA supporters took to the streets. They damaged cars and lit bonfires on several roads in Ranchi.

The BJP called for a statewide bandh on Thursday to protest against the governor's action.

"The governor has throttled democracy. It is the height of misuse of power," BJP General Secretary Rajnath Singh said.

The NDA said it would parade its 36 MLAs and the five Independents supporting it before President A P J Abdul Kalam in New Delhi on Thursday.

The NDA also stalled proceedings in Parliament over the Jharkhand issue.


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