"JMM has 18 MLAs, Congress 13 and RJD 5... Some independent MLAs have already extended full support to us. So we have support of more than 41 MLAs," JMM leader Hemant Soren said.

JMM leader Hemant Soren on Saturday claimed support of more than 41 MLAs in the 82-member Assembly to form an alternative government in Jharkhand before the term of President’s Rule expires on July 18, 2013.

“Jharkhand Mukti Morcha has 18 MLAs, Congress 13 and RJD 5… Some independent MLAs have already extended full support to us. So we have support of more than 41 MLAs,” Mr. Hemant Soren told reporters after returning from New Delhi.

The Jharkhand Assembly has 81 elected legislators and a nominated MLA, who has voting right during floor tests.

Mr. Heman Soren, who is tipped to be the Chief Minister in the new dispensation in the tribal State, has already got letters of support from independent MLAs Harinarayan Rai, Bandhu Tirkey, Chamra Linda and Bidesh Singh, JMM sources said.

The other two independent MLAs are Gita Koda, wife of former Chief Minister Madhu Koda who is in jail on graft charges, and Enos Ekka.

“A few more steps away. The government will be formed only after getting the list of majority MLAs,” Mr. Hemant Soren said.

When asked whether two JMM MLAs, Nalin Soren and Sita Soren, would turn up to vote during floor test, he said “you will know when time comes.”

Both the MLAs have been evading police for questioning in connection with separate corruption charges and the High Court has pulled up the State administration for failing to arrest them.