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Soren feels shaky on trust vote

By Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi
Last updated on: March 04, 2005 02:15 IST
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Newly sworn-in Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren is now feeling 'shaky'.

A Congress leader in Ranchi told on Thursday that Soren, who was sworn in as CM on Wednesday, is not sure about proving his majority in the assembly.

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The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha chief has apparently conveyed the message to the Congress New Delhi that he is not in a position to prove his majority.

After Soren's realistic assessment of situation the Congress high command has started the damage control exercises. 

Consequently, the party decided that the deadline of the trust vote will be advanced by Governor Syed Sibtey Razi.

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Soren was given time till March 21 to prove his majority on the floor of the House, but it will now be taken up sooner.

One reason that Soren is feeling frustrated is that the Jharkhand police or Intelligence officials in the state could not locate the whereabouts of five independent legislators, who were allegedly whisked away by the National Democratic Alliance to New Delhi to be paraded before the president.

Some Congressmen and Soren's party men even alleged that the five independent MLAs' identities were not verified.

Congressmen in private asked the media in New Delhi to verify the identities of the MLAs who were paraded before President A P J Abdul Kalam by the NDA.

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Meanwhile, the Congress is also weighing the pros and cons of asking the governor to tender his resignation.

Razi, a Congress leader from Uttar Pradesh, was the party's spokesman of the All India Congress Committee headquarters for almost two years.

Last July, he was appointed Jharkhand governor by the United Progressive Alliance government. The prime posting was a reward for remaining faithful to the Sonia camp when former prime minister Narasimha Rao had clipped Sonia's influence in the Congress.

Razi turns 66 on March 7, but he may not be in the mood to celebrate it.

If he is asked to resign as a last resort -- mainly to salvage Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's image in the wake of the Jharkhand episode -- Uttar Pradesh Governor T V Rajeshwar or West Bengal Governor Gopal Gandhi may be given additional charge of Jharkhand.

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Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi