Bowing to the demand of a majority of its 18 MLAs in the
state for a tribal to head the government, the BJP is also
settle for former Chief Minister Arjun Munda for the top post.
BJP central observers Rajnath Singh and Ananth Kumar, who
returned to the capital today from Jharkhand, apprised party
president Nitin Gadkari that JMM stuck to its demand for
rotation in power-sharing, party sources said.
JMM chief Shibu Soren wants BJP to lead the government for
28 months and then support a JMM Chief Minister for the
remaining 28 months of the state Assembly. Both the JMM and
the BJP have 18 seats each in the 82-member House.
"Most of our MLAs in Jharkhand as well and some leaders in
the Central leadership are in agreement that we should concede
to JMM's demand of power-sharing by rotation if we are serious
about forming a government there," a senior BJP leader said.
Gadkari, known for adopting a pragmatic approach in
solving issues, is open to this idea to stave off President's
Rule as failure to form a government may lead to Congress
poaching on BJP MLAs as well to prop up a new regime.
BJP is likely to call a Parliamentary Board meeting to
take a formal decision. However, since senior leaders like
Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, among others, are not
enthusiastic about rotation some uncertainty still remains.
Sources also said BJP may accept the demand of its tribal
MLAs and make Munda the Chief Minister. Munda is said to have
mobilised most of the 18 party MLAs in his favour. The nine
tribal BJP MLAs and a few other legislators are reportedly
against Raghubar Das becoming Chief Minister.
A section of the BJP Central leadership favours a
non-tribal chief minister, arguing that the party needs to
consolidate the urban and non-tribal vote base.
"But we are likely to go for a tribal chief minister for
the sake of stability which is our imminent concern," a BJP
leader said. In case a government is formed, Hemant Soren
(JMM) and Sudesh Mahato (AJSU) will be Deputy Chief Ministers,
according to sources.
BJP leaders said they were confident of solving the
political crisis in Jharkhand within "three-four days".
Senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu, however, said in
Bangalore that there was no question of sharing power on a
rotational basis with JMM.
The problem began when Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu
Soren voted against BJP sponsored cut-motions on April 27. BJP
parliamentary Board decided to withdraw support to the Soren
government but put it on hold when Hemant wrote a letter
supporting a BJP-led government.
New Delhi: Facing a deadlock over government
formation in Jharkhand, BJP today appeared to be open to
accepting JMM demand for rotational power sharing between the
First Published: Wednesday, May 12, 2010, 20:50