Cong `only watching` Jharkhand situation

With Jharkhand in the midst of political uncertainty, Congress seems to be in no mood to become an active player and support the JMM to bail out the Shibu Soren government.

Updated: May 01, 2010, 21:02 PM IST

New Delhi: With Jharkhand in the midst of
political uncertainty, Congress seems to be in no mood to
become an active player and support the JMM to bail out the
Shibu Soren government.

"We are only watching the situation," said a senior party
leader who did not want to be identified.

The leader said that Chief Minister Shibu Soren was not
approached by the Congress to vote for the government on the
cut motion in Lok Sabha earlier this week.
"We never contacted Soren. Only he (Soren) can answer why
he supported the government on the cut motion," he said.

Another senior party leader also denied any deal between
Congress and JMM for any support maintaining, "we were also
surprised when Soren voted with the UPA".

After Soren, leading a JMM-BJP coalition government in
Jharkhand, voted against the cut motion, the BJP described the
act as "betrayal" and withdrew support to the government.

There were, however, indications of a thaw when Soren`s
son Hemant wrote a letter to senior BJP leaders explaining
that it was a mistake on part of the Chief Minister and he is
also ready to resign.

However, efforts by the Hemant Soren-led group to form an
alternative government in the state appears to have run into
rough weather with a section in the party demanding that Shibu
Soren should be allowed to continue as Chief Minister.
Sources said that a large number of JMM leaders are in
favour of Soren being allowed to remain Chief Minister for
the next two months.

Soren has to enter the legislative assembly before June
30 to continue as CM and so far the party has not been able to
finalise a safe seat for him amid talks of power tussle going
on for the top slot within the Soren family itself.

Meanwhile, senior JMM leader Teklal Mahato said that he
is open to holding discussions with Congress over formation of
an alternative government in Jharkhand, insisting that Soren
should remain the Chief Minister.

"We have come to make our Dishom Guru Shibu Soren the
Chief Minister," Mahato said when asked whether he has come to
to Delhi to hold meetings with BJP on formation of a new
government.

To a question whether he is open to parleys with Congress
on the issue, Mahato said, "talks are possible."

PTI