BJP, JMM agree to share power in Jharkhand

The BJP and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) have agreed to share power in rotation for 28 months each, Jharkhand CM Shibu Soren said Tuesday.

Updated: May 18, 2010, 23:37 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Ranchi: The BJP and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) have agreed to share power in rotation for 28 months each, Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren said Tuesday. Former Chief Minister Arjun Munda is likely to head the BJP-led government.

"We have agreed to share power in rotation. The BJP and JMM will each rule the state for 28 months," the JMM chief said at a joint press conference with BJP national general secretary Munda.

Asked who would lead the government first, Soren said, "At present I am the Chief Minister." He, however, did not clarify when he would step down.

Munda added, "The BJP will run the government for the next 28 months and then power will be transferred to the JMM."

The transfer of power is likely to take place next week. The BJP and AJSU leaders claimed the powershift would take place on May 25.

"Both Soren`s resignation and Munda staking claim may take place on May 25 simultaneously," a senior AJSU leader and a national BJP leader told PTI.

The JMM, it is learnt, acquiesced to giving up power after former BJP president Rajnath Singh conveyed to Soren that the party would be forced to withdraw support. According to BJP sources, JMM was asked to take a decision on Tuesday or the BJP would withdraw support Wednesday.

The final announcement followed a day of hectic developments with Munda going to the party office and then to Soren`s residence. He was later joined by state BJP president and deputy chief minister Raghubar Das as well as Jharkhand BJP in charge Karuna Shukla.

Also present were Soren`s son Hemant Soren and senior JMM leaders.
According to sources, JMM demanded at least six minister posts as well as the Speaker`s post. The BJP is learnt to have agreed to five minister posts and the post of deputy speaker.

Jharkhand has been in the midst of a political crisis since Soren`s decision to vote against the BJP`s cut motions in the Lok Sabha. That led the BJP, a junior partner in the ruling coalition, to withdraw legislative support to the ruling JMM.

BJP had announced its decision to withdraw support to the Shibu Soren government on April 28 after the JMM chief voted against the BJP-sponsored cut-motions in the Lok Sabha.

However, after Soren`s son Hemant made an offer to BJP to head the government in the state, the BJP revoked its decision but a tussle ensued on the power-sharing formula.

On May 8, the BJP announced that it would head a new coalition for the remainder of the tenure with support from alliance partners JMM and AJSU. The same evening Soren said the new government would be on a rotational basis, causing a stalemate.

Both the JMM and the BJP have 18 seats each in the 82-member House. Other members of the coalition are Janata Dal-United (JD-U) with two seats, All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) which has five seats and others two.

-Agencies input