Hemant Soren takes oath as ninth CM of Jharkhand

Ranchi, July 13 (IANS) Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Hemant Soren, 37, was sworn in Saturday as ninth chief minister of the state.

Hemant Soren was administered oath by Governor Syed Ahmad. Two legislators - Rajendra Prasad Singh of Congress and Annapurna Devi of RJD - also took oath as ministers.

The swearing in ceremony took place at Birsa Mandap of Raj Bhawan.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government of Arjun Munda was dethroned after JMM withdrew support Jan 8. The present assembly period ends in December 2014 and this will be third government in the current assembly.

Hemant Soren has been given one week by the governor to seek trust vote and he is likely to seek trust vote July 16.

According to JMM sources, Hemant Soren will expand the cabinet after seeking the trust vote.

Before the swearing in ceremony Hemant Soren took blessings of his father Shibu Soren and mother Rupi Soren. No central leaders of the Congress attended the swearing in ceremony.

This is first time that the Congress is becoming part of the government in the state. Congress had extended outside support to the Madhu Koda government in 2006 and Shibu Soren government in 2008.

Hemant Soren had staked claim to form the government July 9. He had handed a letter of support of 43 legislators to the governor.

The 43 legislators who are supporting JMM to form the government comprise 18 from the JMM, 13 Congress, five RJD, seven legislators either belonging to smaller parties or independent legislators.

The seven legislators include Arup Chatterji of Marxist Coordination Committee (MCC), Enos Ekka of Jharkhand Party (JP), Bandhu Tirkey, Geeta Koda wife of former chief minister Madhu Koda, Videsh Singh, Chamra Linda and Harinarayan Rai.

JMM was trying to form government in the state ever since president rule was imposed Jan 18.

The formation of the new government gained momentum when Congress Jharkhand-in-charge B.K. Hariprasad and senior Congress leader Shakeel Ahmad met JMM chief Shibu Soren July 2.

Hemant Soren went to New Delhi on the same day. He held deliberations with Congress leaders about formation of the new government. He, however, could not meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Thanks to this support, Congress succeeded in cementing its alliance for next year Lok sabha poll. As per an understanding, Congress will fight 10 of the 14 Lok Sabha seats of Jharkhand.

The six months period of the president rule was ending July 18.

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