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Congress Party Ally to Head Government in Jharkhand

  • VOA News

An ally of India's ruling Congress party, Shibu Soren, has been sworn in as the new chief minister of India's eastern Jharkhand state, despite protests and doubts whether he has majority support. Mr. Soren has decided to quit as coal minister in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's cabinet to take up this post. He has 20 days to prove that his party's (Jharkhand Mukti Morcha's) alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal can muster a working majority in the 81-member legislature. Together they won only 33 seats in last month's assembly elections, and need eight more supporters. The governor asked the alliance to form a government because the largest party -- the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party -- won only 30 seats. However, the Hindu nationalists are protesting the move.
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