Soren asked to prove majority by May 31

BJP withdrew support to Shibu Soren-led govt in Jharkhand, reducing it to a minority.

Ranchi: BJP today withdrew its support to the
nearly five-month-old JMM-led government in Jharkhand reducing
it to a minority, following which Chief Minister Shibu Soren
was asked by the Governor to prove his majority on the floor
of the Assembly by May 31.

Soren was summoned by Governor M O H Farooq this evening
after BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Raghuvar Das handed
over a letter withdrawing his party`s support to the
government, Raj Bhavan said. He has been given a week`s time
to prove his strength in the House.

With 14 MLAs, Congress saw a possible role in the
formation of a stable government. "We are watching the
developments. We are putting our minds together to save
Jharkhand from collapse," Congress in-charge for the state K
Keshav Rao told reporters in New Delhi.

In Ranchi, Congress spokesman Radhakrishna Kishore said,
"If secular parties, including the JMM, send any proposal for
formation of a secular dispensation, the party will look into
it and place it before the Central leadership."

In the 82-member assembly, the Soren government now has
support of 25 MLAs, including 18 of its own, five of the AJSU
and two others. The BJP has 18 members. The JD(U), which has
2 MLAs, also decided to follow suit and withdraw support to
the government.

JMM legislative party leader and Soren`s son Hemant said
the Governor had acceded to the chief minister`s request to
give him seven-days time to prove his majority in the

Soren took oath as chief minister on December 30 last
year with the support of the BJP, AJSU and others.

JD(U) spokesman Pramod Mishra said, "The JD(U) is
a part of the NDA and our central leadership has directed us
to go by the BJP`s decision."

Frustrated over JMM backtracking on its power-sharing
agreement, the BJP had yesterday decided to withdraw support
after a defiant Soren asserted that he would continue as the
chief minister and was in touch with Congress.

The BJP parliamentary board had on April 28 decided to
withdraw support to the JMM government after Soren voted
against the party-sponsored cut motion against the UPA
Government in Lok Sabha a day earlier.

However, the decision was put on hold when Soren`s son
Hemant wrote a letter to BJP chief Nitin Gadkari pledging
support to a BJP-led government.

But, the JMM did a U-turn and demanded rotational
power sharing with each party leading the government for 28
months. This was agreed to by BJP on the understanding that
Soren will quit as Chief Minister by May 25 after which former
Chief Minister Arjun Munda will head a new coalition

As the deadline for his stepping down approached,
Soren made it clear on Friday that he was not going to quit.
The Chief Minister had on Saturday gone a step further saying
he was weighing all options, including cutting a deal with the
Congress to continue in power.

Meanwhile, CPI-ML(L), which has one MLA, said it would
vote against the government during the floor test.

"I will vote against Soren," Vinod Kumar Singh MLA
told PTI.

Shibu Soren to choose allies before floor test: JMM

Expressing surprise over BJP`s
decision to withdraw support to the Shibu Soren government,
JMM on Monday said the party chief would choose his allies in the
run up to the floor test but did not come clear if any deal
was made with Congress.

"We don`t know under what circumstances BJP took the
decision even before tomorrow`s deadline. Everything was
decided and JMM even gave in writing to BJP to take over the
reins with our support," JMM legislative party leader Hemant
Soren told a press conference here.

The JMM legislative party meeting was held after BJP`s
withdrawal of support and the party has authorised the chief
minister to decide on the future shape of his coalition, he


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