No combination appeared to be in a position on Thursday to stake claim to form a government in Jharkhand, a day after elections produced a hung Assembly, though JMM chief Shibu Soren made it clear he wants to be Chief Minister.
However, he added a twist saying he was talking to leaders of rival camps.
The major players — the Congress-JVM(P) alliance, which bagged 25 seats in a House of 81, and the BJP-JD(U) combine that got 20 seats — apparently were working on a strategy to woo Mr. Soren, whose party with 18 seats holds the key.
Mr. Soren (65), a two-time former Chief Minister himself told reporters in Bokaro, “I will settle for nothing less. There is no compromise on the Chief Minister’s post. The JMM is the single-largest party and I should be given the chance to form the government.”
Referring to alliances which have got seats in the Assembly, he said, “We are talking to people and will decide our course of action. I am speaking to leaders on both sides.”
The Congress appeared to be circumspect in the wake of Mr. Soren’s assertion that he would want to head the government.
Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahay said, “We are not in a hurry now. We expect Shibu Soren to be with the secular combination.”
He said the Congress-JVM(P) combine should be allowed to form a stable government.
Congress sources in Delhi indicated that the party’s option of leading the government appeared to be shrinking.