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JMM ends suspense, to vote in favour of UPA

July 20, 2008 15:19 IST

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Ending the suspense over its stand on the July 22 trust vote, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, which has five Members of Parliament in the Lok Sabha, has announced its decision to support the United Progressive Alliance government, apparently after clinching a deal with the Congress for the return of its chief Shibu Soren to the Union Cabinet.

"All the five MPs of the party will vote in favour of the UPA government during the trust vote," Soren told reporters after a meeting with UPA chairperson and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi [Images] in New Delhi.

Soren said he would return to the Union Cabinet as Coal Minister and his party has been promised a Minister of State berth also.

The JMM chief said he has no objection at getting the cabinet berth after the trust vote. "However, if it is possible, it should come before the vote," he said.

"JMM is a secular party, so we have allied with a secular alliance, all our grievances have been shorted out," said Jharkhand's Deputy Chief Minister Sudhir Mahto, who accompanied Soren during his meeting with Gandhi.

"All talks of a split in the party should come to an end now. We are united and we have proved that today. The party has unanimously taken the decision to support the UPA government," said Suman Mahto, a party MP.

Mahto said the party has presented a 13-point demand list to the Congress president, which included the demand of shifting the headquarters of Coal India Ltd and Damodar Valley Corporation from West Bengal to Jharkhand.

The party has also repeated its old demand of expanding the state into Greater Jharkhand by including three districts each from West Bengal and Orissa.

Apart from it, they have also demanded a package of Rs 5,000 crore for the development of the state.

The party has also urged the Centre to accord Scheduled Tribe status to the tea tribes of Assam.

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