9 years, 7 governments - and Jharkhand in trouble again

Jharkhand`s political cauldron has churned out seven governments in the last nine years.

Ranchi: Jharkhand`s political cauldron has churned out seven governments in the last nine years. And with the state facing another bout of political uncertainty after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) threatened to pull out of the Shibu Soren government, it might see the eighth one soon.

The BJP, a junior partner in the government led by the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), threatened to pull the plug after Soren voted for the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in the Lok Sabha Tuesday.

On Wednesday, it announced withdrawal of support on grounds that Soren had "betrayed" it by voting against the opposition sponsored cut motion.

Coalition politics have been the norm ever since the state was carved out of Bihar on Nov 15, 2000 with no party getting a clear cut majority.

BJP`s Babulal Marandi was the first chief minister of the state, with support from the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and the then Samata Party.

The government lasted till March 2003 when dissent forced Marandi to quit and he was replaced by his own partyman Arjun Munda.

Marandi eventually quit BJP in 2006 to float his own outfit the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P).

The 2005 assembly polls again threw up a fractured mandate. Soren staked claim to form the government but had to quit within nine days as he failed to muster up the numbers.

The BJP again formed a government propped by independents in March 2005 and Munda became the fourth chief minister of the state.

The Munda government was pulled down by the four independents, including Madhu Koda, in September 2006.

Koda, a master in shifting loyalties, formed the fifth government with support from the JMM, Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

In August 2008, Soren pulled the plug on the Koda government and took over as the sixth chief minister.

But Soren had to resign as he lost a by-poll and failed to become a legislator within the stipulated time of six months.

President`s Rule was imposed Jan 19, after parties failed to arrive at a consensus to form a government.

The centrally-administered rule was in force for 11 months after which assembly polls were held.

On Dec 30, Soren cobbled together another coalition with the BJP, the All Jharkhand Students Union, the Janata Dal-United and independents. But that too faces the possibility of going south if the BJP sticks to its stand and withdraws support.


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