Jharkhand, Uttarakhand govts weak sans leaders

With their leaders switching sides to contest the Lok Sabha elections, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand governments are staring at an uncertain future.

A total of seven legislators of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)-led coalition government have joined the fray from the mineral rich state, while one from the Opposition has done the same.

Of the seven, three legislators of the ruling combine have already quit their parties and also the membership of the state Assembly to contest Lok Sabha elections on rival party’s tickets.

The JMM-led government was enjoying support of 43 legislators but the exit of its three MLAs from the State Assembly and their respective parties reduced its numbers to 40 against the Opposition’s strength of 39. 

As of now, Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s government is safe as it is still enjoying a wafer thin majority even as the strength of the 82-member Jharkhand Assembly (one nominated) climbed down to 79 with the exit of his three MLAs. 

The ruling combine, however, will find itself in trouble if any two of its four MLAs, who are still supporting the JMM, win the Lok Sabha polls as it will reduce Soren’s government to a minority.

“We are waiting for the election results,” a senior leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Jharkhand told Deccan Herald regarding toppling the government.

Independent legislators Bandhu Tirkey and Chamra Linda, who are still supporting the JMM-led government, have joined Trinamool Congress to contest Lok Sabha polls from Ranchi while legislator Geeta Koda, wife for former Chief Minister Madhu Koda, is contesting from Chaibasa as an independent. 

The JMM has fielded its legislator Jagganath Mahto from Giridih seat.

Although Congress claims its coalition government in Uttarakhand is stable even after its local heavyweight and MP Satpal Maharaj switched sides and joined Bharatiya janata party to contest the Lok Sabha elections, BJP sources indicate that the saffron party is waiting for the poll results before making a fresh attempt at bringing down the government.

Pauri Garhwal is still a minister in the Uttarakhand government, has a considerable following in the hill state that has five Lok Sabha seats.

Maharaj’s resignation from the Congress sparked speculations that half a dozen party MLAs vowing allegiance to him might exit and reduce the Harish Rawat government to a minority.

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