Jharkhand all set to have JMM-Cong govt

New Delhi: Jharkhand is expected to have a government within a week with Congress and JMM giving "finishing touches" to an alliance with an eye on securing majority of seats in the state in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
"Finishing touches are being given to the modalities for government formation in Jharkhand and seat sharing for 2014 Lok Sabha polls," a senior Congress leader, who declined to be identified, said.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi held threadbare discussions with senior party leaders A K Antony, Jairam Ramesh, AICC General Secretary in-charge of Jharkhand B K Hariprasad and AICC General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed over the issue.
The tribal-dominated state is under President's Rule since January 18 after the collapse of the Arjun Munda-led BJP government following the withdrawal of support by JMM on January 8.
The senior leadership of Congress had earlier stonewalled attempts to forge an alliance with JMM despite pressure by MLAs owing to its past bad experience of propping up an independent Madhu Koda-led government and criminal cases against some JMM leaders.
However, there was a re-thinking later keeping in mind the arithmetic for the next general elections.
Congress has agreed to have a JMM Chief Minister in the state which in lieu has consented to give a lion's share (9-10) of the 14 Lok Sabha seats to the Congress.
Shibu Soren's son Hemant Soren, who is tipped to be the next chief minister, held a meeting with RJD chief Lalu Prasad last night to seek his support for the coalition government.
Sources said in the new government there would be no Deputy Chief Minister, while Congress, which is participating in the government, could get five to six ministries.
Congress is keen to have a Speaker from the party, while JMM could be given Chairmanship of the Coordination Committee for the smooth running of the alliance government there.