Arjun Munda submits resignation to Jharkhand Governor

The BJP government in Jharkhand led by Chief Minister Arjun Munda fell on Tuesday after alliance partner Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) formally withdrew support to it, deepening the political crisis in the tribal state.

Updated: Jan 08, 2013, 16:44 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The BJP government in Jharkhand led by Chief Minister Arjun Munda fell on Tuesday after alliance partner Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) formally withdrew support to it, deepening the political crisis in the tribal state.

Following the development, Munda submitted his resignation to the state Governor. He met Governor at 11.30 am and formally recommended the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly.

Jharkhand Governor Syed Ahmed has asked Arjun Munda to continue as the caretaker chief minister till a final decision, Raj Bhavan sources said.

Munda was asked to continue as caretaker CM
Munda earlier resigned and recommended dissolution of the 82-member Assembly.

According to reports, JMM MLAs led by Hemant Soren today submitted a formal letter to Governor Syed Ahmed informing him about the party’s decision to withdraw support to the BJP-led government.

Meanwhile, backdoor consultations have also begun between the JMM leadership and the Congress party on the possibility of forming a new political alliance to form a government in the tribal state.

Rajya Sabha MP and Congress state president Pradeep Kumar Balmuchu said that the party was not in favour of President`s Rule in the state, adding they would consider any offer made by the JMM.

Ahead of the meeting between JMM MLAs and the state’s Governor, Chief Minister Munda recommended the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly.

The tribal state’s Chief Minister made the recommendation after his Cabinet approved the decision to dissolve the state Assembly.

The Cabinet meeting was attended by ministers from the BJP, All Jharkhand Students Union and Janata Dal-United. JMM ministers did not attend the meeting, according to reports.

JMM, led by Shibu Soren, yesterday withdrew support to the Munda government and reduced it to minority after talks between two the sides failed to reach an agreement.

The decision to pull out was taken after a meeting of JMM leaders at Ranchi yesterday even though Arjun Munda met Shibu Soren and his son Hemant at their residence.

The JMM chief had been asking Munda to hand over power to someone from his party if he wanted the BJP-JMM government to continue.

Soren had earlier threatened that his party would walk out of the alliance if the chief minister`s post was not handed over to the JMM as part of the power sharing deal under which the two parties had agreed to share it for 28 months each.

However, the ruling BJP maintained that no such deal was reached between the two sides and stood firmly behind Munda, whose 28-month tenure ends on January 10.

Both the BJP and JMM have 18 MLAs each in the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly and, after Soren`s decision to pull out, the Munda government is in minority.

JMM leader and Deputy Chief Minister Hemant Soren yesterday told reporters that the decision to withdraw support was taken "unanimously" and after talking to several BJP leaders, including its Jharkhand affairs in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan.
"After a series of meetings, JMM has decided to withdraw support to the (BJP-led) government," Soren told the media here after the party`s executive committee meeting.

“The JMM MLAs would Tuesday hand over a letter conveying to Governor Syed Ahmed its decision to withdraw support to Munda government,” Hemant Soren said.

He further said that a senior BJP MP from Santhal Pargana has been giving baseless statements against the JMM leadership, which is intolerable. There is no coordination in the alliance, he added.

Relations between the two coalition partners have been worsening ever since Chief Minister Arjun Munda, in a written reply to the JMM on January 03, denied that there was an agreement between them on "rotation of power" after 28 months in office.

The JMM has five ministers in the BJP-led Cabinet, including Deputy CM Hemant Soren.

The BJP-led government headed by Arjun Munda was formed in September 2010 with the support of the JMM, which has 18 legislators in the 81-member Assembly.

Apart from the BJP`s own 18 legislators, the party also has the support of six All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) members and two Janata Dal-United (JD-U) members.

(With Agency inputs)