Hemant Soren wins trust vote

Ranchi, July 18 (IANS) Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren Thursday won a crucial trust vote in the state assembly with 43 legislators voting in favour of the government in the 82-member assembly while 37 voted against it.

After winning the trust vote, Soren told reporters: "We will provide a transparent government and soon formulate a common minimum programme."

"I will not do anything under coalition compulsion to hurt the interest of the people," he said, indicating a cabinet expansion soon.

The Soren-led Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) government was formed July 13 and was directed by Governor Syed Ahmad to prove his majority in the assembly within a week. Consequently, a special assembly session was convened Thursday.

Soren needed the support of at least 42 legislators in the 82-member assembly. He had handed a letter of support of 43 legislators to the governor to form the government.

Legislator Nizamuddin Ansari of the opposition Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) did not attend the house. Speaker C.P. Singh, too, did not take part in the voting.

Pradeep Yadav, legislative party leader of the JVM-P, alleged that his party's legislator Ansari was missing since Wednesday.

During the debate on the motion, former chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arjun Munda came down on the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)-Congress alliance.

"This alliance has been formed for the benefit of the Congress. There is no hope that this government will do anything for development of the state," he said.

Sudesh Mahto of the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) said that the fresh mandate was the only option in the given political scenario.

"The formation of the present government is not a proper step. People should have been given a chance by seeking fresh mandate for the political stability in the state," said Mahto.

The Hemant Soren-led government earlier got some relief when party legislator Sita Soren, who was facing arrest in an abduction case, surrendered before police in Ranchi and was granted bail, paving the way for her to attend the assembly.

Another absconding party legislator, Nalin Soren, attended the assembly session after surrendering in a vigilance court.

Nalin Soren earlier Thursday moved the Supreme Court for a shield against arrest. According to a JMM legislator, the court asked Nalin Soren to surrender in Ranchi.

Nalin Soren, a former agriculture minister, is one of the nine accused in the 2007 seeds scam case in which irregularities were allegedly found in supply of seeds to farmers.

Legislators Sawna Lakra, serving a life term in a murder case, and Dullu Mahto, who is in jail in another case, attended the assembly with the permission of court.

--Indo-Asian news Service

ns/rah/dg

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