Hemant Soren, Chief Ministerial candidate of the victorious Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-Congress-Rashtriya Janata Dal alliance, on Tuesday staked claim to form the next government in the mineral-rich State.
The JMM leader handed over a letter of support from the newly elected MLAs to the Governor. He was accompanied by RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, Congress Jharkhand in-charge R.P.N. Singh, newly elected Congress Legislature Party leader Alamgir Alam, Congress State president Rameswar Oraon and newly elected MLAs of the alliance at the meeting with the Governor.
“We have staked claim by giving a letter claiming support of 50 MLAs. We have requested Governor Draupadi Murmu to invite us for forming government,” Mr. Soren said after the meeting in the Raj Bhavan.
The swearing-in is scheduled to be held at the Morabadi Ground here on December 29. Earlier, Mr. Soren was elected leader of the alliance.
The JMM acting chief also called on Babulal Marandi, head of the Jharkhand Vikash Morcha (Prajtantrik) and first Chief Minister of Jharkhand. The JVM, which has won three seats, offered unconditional support to Mr. Soren. Mr. Marandi said the JMM leader showed a big heart by coming to meet him.
“We might have fought the election separately, but we share a common goal of giving Jharkhand a new development direction. Everybody will contribute to State’s development,” Mr. Soren said.
A day after the JMM and the Congress registered a comprehensive win in this election, the two parties held separate meetings of newly elected MLAs.
Speaks to Sonia
Party sources said Mr. Soren had also talked to Congress president Sonia Gandhi over the phone regarding formation of the government. He is expected to visit New Delhi on Wednesday to invite the Congress leadership for his swearing-in.
In the final tally of seats, the JMM and Congress won 30 and 16 seats, respectively, while the RJD had to be content with just one. The alliance cornered 47 seats, six past the halfway mark of 41 in the 81 member Assembly.
The incumbent BJP registered a poor performance, winning only 25 seats. Outgoing Chief Minister Raghubar Das could not retain his Jamshedpur East seat.
While Mr. Soren has won from two Assembly seats — Barhait and Dumka — it has not been announced which seat he will retain.