Mission missing in coalition government: Munda

Mission missing in coalition government: Munda

Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda has admitted that coalition politics rarely allowed a government to "walk on a mission", putting together ideas and issues in order to make any project a success.

"For development, one should embark upon a mission, which is so crucial to turn the input into output (putting together the government's progressive projects). And to accomplish this feat is very difficult in a coalition government due to some compulsions (of coalition politics)," he said in an interview to PTI here.

"But I tried to the maximum extent to maintain good relations with coalition partners on issues of the state's requirements ... and how we should go together keeping the state's development in mind. During the two years of governance, work did happen well ... under President's rule, I hope good work will be carried forward," he added.

Munda said he was still puzzled over why JMM withdrew support to his government on January 8. He said he would respect the people's verdicts, which threw up fractured mandates in 2005 and 2009 assembly polls.

"We respect the mandate and had made efforts to run the government. But the people should also think that the state should get a proper mandate, in which accountability could be assured," he said, hinting that in a coalition government ruling political parties get away from accountability by blaming each other.

"Time waits for none, and if the growth pattern is not set properly then the people would face problems and difficulties," Munda said in a reference to Jharkhand's creation twelve years ago and the people still witnessing political uncertainty that saw eight governments and three spells of President’s rule.

President and ex-deputy CM of AJSU party, Sudesh Mahto, had said failure to list a Common Minimum Programme after forming the government and absence of Coordination Committee meetings had led to the fall of the government.

Refuting this, Munda, who has thrice held CM's post, said, "Convening meetings of the coordination committee was the responsibility of the chairman (JMM supremo Shibu Soren). But I don't think the government's fall had anything to do with them as there were many more reasons."

Asked whether it worried him that next elections could also throw a fractured mandate and the state could face similar coalition problems, he said democracy was a very strong medium and all political parties should send out a clear message that it was the voters alone who could give a majority mandate.

"I think seeing the current situation, the people must have become more experienced (in their voting pattern)," Munda said.

When asked whether he thought the seven-point demand list given to him on December 25 by the JMM, including a power sharing formula, was the reason that rocked his coalition government, Munda said, "That was just a pretext."

"Now the assembly is under suspended animation and many things are there. I won't say much about it, I will move with the passage of time," Munda said without elaborating.

The BJP and the JMM came together after the 2009 assembly elections, had split in 2010 and again joined hands in the same year after a four-month President's rule before again parting ways on January 8 this year.

To a query whether he would prefer the BJP declaring him as the chief ministerial candidate before the next assembly elections, the tribal leader said, "It's too early."

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