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RJD declares 'strong support' for Shibu Soren

August 23, 2008 22:42 IST

The Rashtriya Janata Dal on Saturday announced its support for Jharkhand Mukti Morcha chief Shibu Soren in forming the next government in Jharkhand after the resignation of incumbent Madhu Koda.

Close on the heels of Koda's announcement in Ranchi that he was quitting, RJD chief Lalu Prasad declared his party's support to Soren.

Prasad, who was Koda's mentor, even assured the JMM chief that he would help in securing the support of independent MLAs to ensure smooth sailing for Soren to succeed Koda.

Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda resigns

"The RJD is fully behind Soren. We are also sending a letter of support carrying signatures of all seven RJD MLAs from Jharkhand to Governor Syed Sibtey Razi to help the formation of the Soren government," the RJD chief told reporters.

Prasad made the announcement after chairing a meeting of party MLAs from Jharkhand including RJD legislative party leader Annapurna Devi, party state president Gautam Sagar Rana and senior leaders Girinath Singh and Ghuran Ram.

Soren stakes claim for Jharkhand CM's post

Prasad also dismissed the recent statement of Koda in which he had said he was not joining any government and had dubbed the current political situation 'ill-timed and unnecessary' as just an outburst.

Koda made the statements before reporters in Ranchi after resigning from the chief ministership.

Prasad, however, said he would talk about the matter with Koda and others.

Jharkhand CM Koda may quit if Sonia asks him to

"I will talk to Koda. His statement is just an outburst as he was very much a part and parcel of the decision taken to support Soren's chief ministership bid. He had agreed to step down," said Prasad.

"This is UPA's decision to avoid President rule in the state. Nobody wants election in the state. Hence, Soren now has our strong backing after Koda resigned. We are talking to independents as well. RJD strongly supports Soren's attempt to form the new government," said Prasad.

He, however, declined to specify the nature of RJD support to JMM in government formation.

To a query on whether the RJD will participate in governance or not, Prasad said, "We always participate. That we will see later. What is important now is formation of the new government in which all secular forces should lend their support."

Prasad also made an appeal to all secular forces to work for the betterment of Jharkhand.

Earlier, with independents led by Stephen Marandi refusing to relent on the issue, an exasperated Soren said, "If I become CM it is ok, if I don't it is ok."

Earlier, in 2005, the Soren-led government could survive just for nine days as he failed to secure majority on the floor of the house.

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