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Shibu Soren shows up in Ranchi
July 30, 2004 10:58 IST
Last Updated: July 30, 2004 12:31 IST
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha chief Shibu Soren on Friday appeared before mediapersons in Ranchi after spending a few days 'in the jungle' where he had gone after police came searching for him armed with a non-bailable arrest warrant.
He denied being in hiding. "I was always with the people and I have come before you today. I was waiting for the Jharkhand high court order, which came on Thursday.
"The court has given me time till August 2 and I will consult my lawyers before deciding on surrendering," Soren told a group of reporters at the residence of his son Durga, a JMM MLA, in the presence of several JMM leaders.
"I was part of the Jharkhand statehood struggle all along but the National Democratic Alliance government here tried to implicate me despite promising to would withdraw all cases relating to it (the struggle)," he said.
"They (BJP) had plans to make Jharkhand another Gujarat and win the assembly elections. But I stopped that," the JMM leader said. "I will remain with Congress," he said when asked about his party's plans for the assembly elections scheduled for next year.
When the warrant had been issued on July 17, Soren was a member of the Union Council of Ministers. He became incommunicado as soon as news filtered out that Jharkhand police had set out to Delhi from Ranchi to arrest him. Soren resigned from the Union Cabinet last week after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asked him to do so. But his whereabouts were not known.
He had appealed to the Jharkhand high court to quash the warrant. But a division bench on Thursday ordered him to surrender before the Jamtara sub divisional magistrate's court on or before August 2 failing which action would be taken against him.
Asked when would he surrender, Soren said there was no question of surrendering. "I am already fighting a legal battle. I know the court has given time till August 2 (to surrender). I will consult my lawyers and party people today and chalk-out the future course of action."
More reports from Jharkhand