BJP-JMM to form next govt in Jharkhand

BJP leader Arjun Munda has been chosen to be the next Chief Minister of Jharkhand.

Ranchi: Over three months after it parted
ways with the JMM, the BJP today again came together with
Shibu Soren`s party and staked claim to form a new government
in Jharkhand which has been under President`s Rule since
June 1.

In fast-paced developments, the JMM offered
"unconditional" support to the BJP after which its Legislature
Party elected former chief minister Arjun Munda as its leader.

Munda met Governor M O H Farooq and claimed the
support of 45 legislators in a House with an effective
strength of 81. The Governor said he would look into it and
convey his decision to the party.

"We have given a list of 45 MLAs to the Governor
requesting him to invite (newly elected BJP legislator party
leader) Arjun Munda to form the new government. The Governor
said he would look into it and inform us," BJP`s state unit
President Raghuvar Das told reporters after meeting Farooq.

He said that in the list of 45 MLAs, the name of JMM
MLA Poulus Surin, did not figure as he was in judicial
custody.

Das handed over the list to the governor in the
presence of 42-year-old Munda, also the party`s national
general secretary who took over as CLP chief after incumbent
Raghuvar Das quit the post on the direction of BJP president
Nitin Gadkari.

In the list submitted to the Governor, there were 18
MLAs each of BJP and JMM, two from JDU, five from AJSU and two
independent MLAs-- Chamra Linda and Bidesh Singh.

"JMM has extended unconditional support to BJP`s
initiatives to form a government," Jharkhand Mukti Morcha
spokesman Suprio Bhattacharya said.

Besides Munda and Das, AJSU president Sudesh Mahto and
JMM leader Hemant Soren, son of the JMM chief, were present at
the Raj Bhavan.

AJSU`s vice-president Praveen Prabhakar said his
five-member legislature party has extended full support to the
BJP`s initiative.

Meanwhile, in Delhi, top leaders of Congress were
huddled for more than an hour to discuss the evolving
political situation in Jharkhand.
Home Minister P Chidambaram is learnt to have briefed
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia
Gandhi on the situation in the state and options before the
UPA. The meeting was also attended by Finance Minister
Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A K Antony and Law Minister
M. Veerappa Moily.

Congress has 14 MLAs and its JVMP has 11 lawmakers.
Ties between allies BJP and JMM had soured following
cross voting by Shibu Soren in the Lok Sabha during cut
motions in the Budget session in April brought by BJP and Left
parties.

After the BJP threatened to withdraw support, Soren
agreed on sharing power on rotational basis but later went
back on his word.

Shibu Soren resigned from the chief minister`s post on
May 30 following withdrawal of support by the BJP and the
state came under President`s Rule on June 1.
The total strength of the Jharkhand Assembly is 82.

One nominated MLA from Anglo-Indian community, Joseph P
Galstaun, died in June.

PTI