BJP doesn`t topple Shibu Soren, considers JMM offer

A day after announcing withdrawal of support to Shibu Soren government in Jharkhand, the BJP today refrained from implementing the decision and was considering a JMM offer to support a new dispensation led by it.

Last Updated: Apr 29, 2010, 23:53 PM IST

New Delhi/Ranchi: A day after announcing
withdrawal of support to Shibu Soren government in Jharkhand,
the BJP today refrained from implementing the decision and was
considering a JMM offer to support a new dispensation led by
it.

The trigger for a rethink on the part of BJP to go ahead
with withdrawal of support was provided this evening by a
second letter from JMM legislature party leader Hemant Soren,
son of Shibu, to BJP President Nitin Gadkari informing him
that JMM would support a new government led by its key
alliance partner.

"We have received a letter from Hemant Soren saying that
if the BJP wishes to form a government in Jharkhand, JMM would
extend its support", BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said
in New Delhi.

Gadkari would discuss the JMM offer with members of the
BJP Parliamentary Board and take a decision at the earliest
"keeping the welfare of the people of Jharkhand in mind", she
said.

Asked about JMM`s reported demand for Deputy Chief
Ministership for Hemant in return for the party`s support,
Sitharaman said "the letter (from Hemant) makes no such
demand".

Asked about the content of his second letter to Gadkari,
Hemant told a press conference in Ranchi tonight that he had
conveyed to him that "keeping the interest of the state in
mind and ending the political turmoil in Jharkhand, the JMM
legislature party has requested BJP to form a new government
which the JMM will support."

Asked when Shibu Soren would resign, he said he would do
so if BJP initiated government formation with JMM.

On whether JMM would accept a chief minister from BJP,
Hemant replied in the affirmative.

On whether a tribal or a non-tribal would be preferred
as Chief Minister, Hemant replied "tribal".

That BJP was having second thoughts about its decision to
withdraw support to Shibu Soren government and exploring other
options became evident when it twice cancelled an appointment
with the Governor--the first in the morning and the second in
the evening.

A delegation of BJP MLAs was scheduled to call on the
Governor at 11:00 am, which was postponed to 7:00 pm and
thereafter cancelled.

"As our discussions over the sensitive issue remain
inconclusive, our delegation could not meet the Governor
for a second time," BJP`s Jharkhand unit General Secretary
Ganesh Mishra told PTI in Ranchi.

Earlier, a delegation of BJP MLAs were scheduled to
call on the governor at 11:00 am, which was postponed to 7:00
pm and thereafter cancelled.

"As our discussions over the sensitive issue remains
still inconclusive our delegation could not meet the Governor
for a second time," BJP`s state unit General Secretary
Ganesh Mishra, said here.

He said after Hemant`s apology yesterday for his
father Chief Minister Shibu Soren voting for the UPA on a cut
motion and request for a review of BJP`s decision to withdraw
support, it was all the more important for a thorough
discussion.

Earlier in the day, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha
Sushma Swaraj said in New Delhi that party MLAs would meet
the Governor and convey the decision to take back support from
the JMM-led government.

On Soren writing to senior BJP leaders L K Advani,
Gadkari and her expressing regret that he had voted against
the BJP-led NDA`s cut motion in Parliament as he was unwell,
Swaraj said "we are not impressed with his letter and our
decision to withdraw support remains firm."

PTI