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BJP withdraws support to JMM in Jharkhand
RANCHI, MAY 24 (IANS):
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Published on 25 May. 2010 1:38 AM IST
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Political uncertainty gripped Jharkhand once again after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), fed up with the flip-flops of Chief Minister Shibu Soren, withdrew support to his five-month-old government. Soren has been given a week to prove majority, while former chief minister Babulal Marandi is exploring ways to form government.
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren’s government was reduced to a minority Monday after the BJP formally withdrew support. Governor M.O.H. Farook has asked Soren to prove his majority on the floor of the house by May 31. Soren went to meet the governor around 5.30 p.m. after he was summoned following withdrawal of support by the BJP.
Earlier, the BJP in a letter to the governor withdrew support to the Soren government. “We have withdrawn support to the Shibu Soren government as political uncertainty was lingering in the state for a long period of time,” state BJP president Raghubar Das told reporters.
BJP leaders, including Das, party national general secretary Arjun Munda and others met Governor Farook Monday noon and handed over the letter formally withdrawing support to the Soren government.
The BJP and the JMM have a strength of 18 each in the 81-member assembly. Of the other coalition partners, the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) has five members and the Janata Dal-United two. In New Delhi, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said: “We tried effectively to ensure and lead a non-Congress government in Jharkhand, but we did not succeed, so we decided enough is enough. We can’t try any further.”
“This decision was taken last evening (Sunday) after consulting and discussing with each member of the parliamentary board. It was a unanimous decision,” said Jaitley. The JMM, however, made a last-ditch effort to prevent the BJP from withdrawing support.
According to informed sources, Shibu Soren’s son Hemant Soren met BJP national general secretary Arjun Munda in Ranchi and tried to persuade him to prevent the party from withdrawing support.
Jharkhand has been facing a political crisis since April 27 when Soren voted against the BJP’s cut motions in the Lok Sabha despite assurance to the main opposition party in parliament. This led the BJP, a junior partner in the Jharkhand coalition, to announce withdrawal of its support to the JMM-led government April 28. April 30, BJP put its withdrawal decision on hold.
The JMM announced May 8 that it would support the BJP. Ten days later, May 18, BJP agreed to a rotation of power with Soren. On May 20, however, Soren refused to quit and announced that talks were on with both the BJP and the Congress for formation of an alternative government in Jharkhand.
Meanwhile, former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi said his Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) party would lead the government in the state if it gets the support of the Congress and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).
“We will consider forming an alternative government if the JMM and the Congress decide to support the JVM-P,” Marandi told reporters in Ranchi.
Asked about supporting a JMM-led government, he said: “The Shibu Soren government has been reduced to minority and Soren should resign. If he does not resign then the governor should dismiss his government.”
The Congress wants to form a United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in Jharkhand but the JVM-P is against supporting a JMM-led rule. If the JVM-P, JMM and the Congress come together, they will cross the majority mark in the 81-member assembly.
The Congress has 14 legislators, JVM-P has 11 and the JMM 18. The JVM-P is in a pre-poll alliance with the Congress. The JVM-P wants to lead the next government itself or face assembly polls.
The Congress is looking for an alternative to form the government in Jharkhand. If the JMM, the Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) come together, they will cross the majority mark. The AJSU and the RJD have five legislators each.

 
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