New Delhi: Congress on Wednesday dropped enough
hints that it is not averse to forming an alternative
government in Jharkhand in the wake of BJP withdrawing
support to the JMM-led coalition but preferred not to take any
decision in haste.
While a senior leader, who declined to be identified,
told that all options on government formation were open before
the party, AICC spokesman Manish Tewari said "the situation
in Jharkhand is an evolving one. We are keeping an eye on
"We do not take any political decision in a haste,"
Tewari told reporters.
Asked whether Shibu Soren is with UPA, he said, "The
meaning that comes out of his step of opposing the cut motion
is very clear."
The four-month-old Soren government was reduced to a
minority after BJP withdrew support for his action to vote
against the party`s cut motion in Lok Sabha yesterday.
At the same time, the AICC seems to be giving the
impression that the party was not in a hurry and watching the
political situation in the state to play out fully.
Speaking separately, AICC in-charge for Jharkhand K
Keshava Rao said "there is nobody untouchable in politics".
"Never averse to it. After all we contested the
election there to form a government" was his refrain when
asked if Congress is not averse to forming a government in the
On whether the party sticks to its stand that it will
not form any alliance government in the state with Soren as
the head, Rao said, "In politics there is no last word."
Another senior leader, however, made it clear the JVM
chief Babulal Marandi, with whose party it contested the last
Assembly election in the state, will not be dumped.
"No question of dumping Babulal. He, too, has to be
taken on board," the leader said.
He also said that it was Soren`s stand on Naxalism
that had come in the way of formation of a Congress-JMM
government last time but was quick to add, "there has been an
evolution in his position on the issue since then."
At the AICC briefing, Tewari almost stopped short of
welcoming Soren`s step of voting against the cut motion
yesterday saying, "If somebody has kept in mind the larger
picture that the country need not be plunged into uncertainty
and exercised that step, all right-minded persons should
On asked about a possible deal behind Soren supporting
the UPA government as money had changed hands when the JMM had
bailed out the P V Narasimha Rao government, Tewari brushed
aside the question saying "political decisions are taken in
Another party leader maintained that Congress would
take full stock of the situation in a day or two and take a
decision keeping in mind the political realities of the state.
The party leader said if an acceptable formulae does
not appear in sight immediately, the option of a brief spell
of President`s Rule and keeping the house in suspended
animation could exercised.
He said Congress would like to be assured of the
stability of any structure before putting it in place there.
"Moreover the approach towards Naxalism will also be a
deciding factor before putting any such government structure
in place there," the leader said.
Asked whether Congress would agree to support or
participate in any alternative government in the state if it
is not headed by Soren and the latter is made a minister in
Centre, the leader said," first let them (JMM) agree to
it...our position depends on what works out. Soren has always
been reluctant to come to the Centre."
The talk in Congress circles is that Bellary brothers
also had mining interest in Jharkhand and were allegedly
pressuring Soren through some central leaders of the BJP for
it, which soured the BJP-JMM relationship.
Speculation is rife that Soren may have struck a deal
for a Congress-led government. Sources said he may bargain for
a berth in the Union Cabinet and make his son Hemant Soren
the deputy chief minister in Jharkhand.
Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik chief Marandi may
then become the chief minister in a coalition government of
Congress, JMM and JVN. In the 82-member Jharkhand Assembly,
Congress has 14 MLAs, JMM 18 and JVM-P 11 MLAs. The BJP has 18