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JMM lobbying for 2 berths in Union Cabinet

September 08, 2008 20:42 IST

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After ensuring Jharkhand chief ministership for party chief Shibu Soren, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha has now upped the ante for ensuring two ministerial berths at the Centre for its party MPs.

Soren is learnt to have apprised the United Progressive Alliance leadership about the party's choice for JMM general secretary and Rajmahal MP Hemlal Murmu and the party's chief whip and Giridih MP Teklal Mahato for the berths in the Union council of ministers.

JMM's five MPs had played a crucial role in bailing out the Manmohan Singh [Images] government in the confidence vote in July
after the Left parties withdrew support on the issue of Indo-US nuclear deal.

While Mahato on Monday said he is very confident of gettting a ministerial berth for himself, Murmu sought to evade any direct reply, throwing the ball in the court of the party chief.

Both the leaders said JMM's share in the Union council of ministers is the "party's right" as it has been consistenly supporting the UPA.

Soren is slated to come back to Delhi [Images] on Tuesday to meet UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi [Images]. JMM sources said Soren had made two attempts on Thursday and Saturday to seek an appointment with Sonia. However, a meeting did not materialise.

"We met senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee over the matter on Friday and he agreed that JMM has its
rightful share in the Union council of ministers," claimed Mahato. 

"We will be meeting the UPA chairperson to discuss the matter once we get an appointment, which is likely to happen
either tomorrow or the day after," Mahato told PTI.

JMM sources said Soren has already hinted to the Congress leadership about his preference for Murmu for the Cabinet

However, quite a large number of JMM MLAs favour Mahato for the Cabinet berth citing his seniority. Mahato is also
said to be close to Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav [Images] whom he met two days back after coming to Delhi.

JMM has 17 MLAs of which 10 are from tribal community, three from Mahatos, two from Scheduled Caste and rest two from Backward Classes.

With Soren, a tribal, becoming the Jharkhand chief minister, there is a demand to give a cabinet berth to a Mahato MP in Delhi.

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