New Delhi: The BJP appears divided over the support it has lent to the Shibu Soren-led JMM to form government in Jharkhand.
Reports indicated on Thursday night that all was not well within the party what with senior leader L K Advani not attending the swearing-in ceremony.
At a press conference in Delhi, BJP spokesperson
Shahnawaz Hussain deflected queries on Advani’s presence.
Asked repeatedly if Advani would attend
the swearing-in, he said several
stalwart leaders of the party will be present.
Advani is said to have favoured the baton being handed
over to Yashwant Sinha, who, he believes, will bring a
"qualitative difference" to the issue of governance in
Jharkhand, thanks to his experience as Union minister for
finance and external affairs.
To a poser if senior leader Yashwant Sinha was unhappy
over the developments in Jharkhand as he has said in an
interview to a newspaper that he is the best candidate (for
the post of CM) for a state like Jharkhand, Hussain said, "I
am regularly in touch with Sinha. I can say that he has
never proposed his own name for any post in the party."
When reminded that leaders had earlier said that the BJP
Parliamentary Board would not discuss the Jharkhand issue any
further and, despite this statement, the Chief Minister of
Jharkhand was chosen without a meeting of the top decision
making body, Hussain said the move came after gaining complete
"We have formed government in Jharkhand previously also.
There was President`s Rule in the state and we stopped making
attempts to form a stable government. But a government had to
be formed and that is why at the opportune time we decided to
stake claim to form a stable government," Hussain said.
Asked about the BJP-JMM formula to run the government and
if there would be a Chief Minister on rotation, Hussain said
"as of now the government will be formed under the leadership
of Arjun Munda. There are no conditions to forming this
BJP leader Arjun Munda will be sworn in as Jharkand`s new
Chief Minister on Saturday, heading a BJP-JMM coalition with
the Governor inviting him to form a government today shortly
after the Union Cabinet recommended revocation of President`s
Rule in the state.
42-year-old Munda, who is getting the chief minister`s
post for the third time, will be the eighth CM in 10 years
since the mineral rich state was carved out of Bihar on
November 15, 2000. No Chief Minister has ever completed a
full term in the state.
The BJP and the JMM formed a coalition government on
December 30 last year under JMM chief Sibu Soren. But it
lasted for only five months.
Earlier, Munda went to Raj Bhavan around 12.40 p.m. to meet the governor along with Soren and Mahto.
"The Governor called us informally and wanted to know when we will take oath. I suggested September 11. When we are invited formally, then we will inform the Raj Bhawan," Munda told reporters after the meeting.
He said his "priorities will be sadak, bijli and pani (roads, electricity and drinking water)".
"I am taking charge of the state when the state is reeling under a drought situation. Improving law and order situation will also be among my priorities," he said.
Munda staked claim Tuesday to forming the government with the support of 45 legislators of his own BJP besides the JMM, the AJSU, the Janata Dal-United and two independents.
Munda is now holding talks with party leaders and alliance partner about the shape of the government.