New Delhi: Bhartiya Janata Party government is in trouble in Jharkhand. Jharkhand Mukhti Morcha, a major ally of BJP-led government in the state withdrew support on Monday even as talks between the two coalition partners failed.
JMM leader and Deputy Chief Minister Hemant Soren said the decision was "unanimous" and was taken 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.
JMM chief Shibu Soren said the party would hand over tomorrow a letter conveying to Governor Syed Ahmed its decision to withdraw support to Munda government.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda had met Jharkhand Mukti Mocha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren earlier today to defuse the crisis over the issue of "rotation of power" between them in the state government. Munda met Soren at his residence for about half an hour, though he did not speak to the media about what transpired at the meeting.
The JMM on Sunday night had announced it would take a decision at its executive committee meeting on Monday on whether or not to continue its coalition with the BJP.
Talking to Times Now Sanjeev Kumar, leader JMM said that there were certain issues on which the two allies did not see eye to eye. One of the factors was the sharing of power for 28 months each. However, he said that there was no talk with the Congress as of now to form a government.
Also talking to Times Now, Nishikant Dubey, BJP MP from the state said that the JMM was a corrupt party and the Munda government was not ready to toe their corrupt lines. He also said that whatever had happened was good for the party and the state.
Relations between the two coalition partners have been worsening ever since Chief Minister Arjun Munda, in a written reply to the JMM January 03, denied that there was an agreement between them on "rotation of power" after 28 months in office.
The 28-month period ends on January 10. The JMM has five ministers in the BJP-led cabinet, including Deputy Chief Minister Hemant Soren.
The JMM insists that there had been an agreement between the two parties to share power. The other demands of the JMM were - the chief minister's stand on Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act, domicile policy, status of nine regional/tribal languages, aid to participants of Jharkhand movement, rehabilitation and resettlement policy and financial aid to Madarasas.
The BJP-led government headed by Arjun Munda was formed in September 2010 with support of the JMM, which has 18 legislators in the 82-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.
Hemant Soren said "if BJP considers them (the issues) positively, then the JMM can even consider its withdrawl of support."
He said the issues are - 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.
"BJP should change its leadership (of Chief Minister Arjun Munda) and come on one platform with the JMM to announce the agreement of power-sharing for 28 months each," he said.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Ahmad Patel refused to comment on the issue, saying that it was an internal matter of JMM and the BJP. He maintained that the Congress would only take cognizance of the matter once the government in Jharkhand falls.
Whatever the outcome of the latest turn of events may be, it is bad news for the saffron party which has seen a spate of setbacks in recent times. The BJP lost in Himachal Pradesh in the Assembly polls recently due to infighting, it is on a sticky wicket in Karnataka and it lost Uttarakhand to the Congress in the beginning of 2012.
With Agencies inputs
First Published: Monday, January 07, 2013, 18:02