BJP-led govt in Jharkhand reduced to minority

BJP-led govt in Jharkhand reduced to minority

The Jharkhand government led by Arjun Munda was left in the lurch after an aggrieved coalition partner, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), withdrew its support, accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of shying away from honouring the promises made while forming the government two years ago.

Party representatives will meet the governor on Tuesday to hand over their letter. The regional party claimed that the BJP had refused to relinquish the office of the chief minister on January 10, when incumbent chief minister Arjun Munda completes 28 months in office.

“We have withdrawn support to the Arjun Munda government. We will meet the governor on Tuesday to give him the letter of withdrawal of support. There is no possibility of a patch up with the BJP,” JMM chief Shibu Soren told reporters in Ranchi, after senior party leaders met early on Monday.

Earlier, his son and Jharkhand Deputy Chief Minister Hemant Soren had said: “We have decided to withdraw support. We had put some points before the BJP leaders. These include a change of guard and sharing of power after 28 months.”

The central leadership of the BJP remained tight lipped over the political crisis in Jharkhand. Denying any power sharing pact with the JMM, the BJP leaders, however, maintained that Munda will not vacate the office of the chief minister.

The BJP and the JMM have 18 MLAs each in the 82-member state Assembly. The government enjoys the support of six All Jharkhand Students’ Union members and two Janata Dal (United) MLAs, besides two independent candidates and one nominated member, who has the right to vote in a trial of strength. The government will be reduced to a minority if the JMM withraws its support.

BJP sources said the party will convince Shibu Soren to defuse the crisis. They contended that Soren does not have much choice since the Congress has not evinced interest in sharing power with the JMM.Ties between the parties soured after Munda denied existence of the “rotation of power” pact on January 3, in reply to a letter from Hemant Soren asking the BJP to clarify its stand on the issue. The party also sought an apology from BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, for allegedly making “indecent remarks” about Shibu Soren.

“The BJP should change its leadership and come on one platform with the JMM to announce the power-sharing agreement for 28 months each,” Hemant Soren said.

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