BJP withdraws support to Soren in Jharkhand

BJP has acted on the `betrayal` by Shibu Soren when he voted against cut motion yesterday.

New Delhi/Ranchi: The four-month-old JMM-led
government in Jharkhand was reduced to a minority today after
alliance partner BJP withdrew support retaliating strongly to
Chief Minister Shibu Soren voting for the UPA in Lok Sabha.

Jharkhand appeared headed for another round of political
uncertainty, as a stunned BJP wasted no time in pulling the
rug under Soren`s feet dubbing as betrayal his action to vote
against the party`s cut motion yesterday. The 66-year-old JMM
supremo was also slammed by the BJP for his "dubious conduct."

After withdrawal of support by BJP which has 18 members,
the strength of the ruling coalition has been reduced to 28
from 46 in a House of 82. The incumbent JMM-BJP coalition
government is the seventh since the mineral-rich state was
created in 2000. Soren is a three-time chief minister.

Sanjay Seth, spokesman of BJP`s Jharkhand unit, said his
party will seek time for a meeting with Governor MOH Farooq
tomorrow to hand over letter of withdrawal of support.

A meeting of the BJP top brass, headed by party chief
Nitin Gadkari, decided to withdraw support immediately giving
indications that the new experiment in Ranchi has floundered.

"The BJP Parliamentary Board has decided to withdraw
support immediately to the Shibu Soren government. He (Soren)
has behaved in a very dubious manner and voted with the
government during the cut motion. BJP has taken very serious
note of this betrayal and dubious conduct," senior BJP leader
Ananth Kumar told reporters in Delhi.

Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar
welcomed BJP`s decision to withdraw support to Soren.

In the 82-member Jharkhand Assembly, BJP and JMM have
18 seats each, Congress 14, RJD 5, JVM 11, ASJU 5, JD(U) 2,
CPI(ML) 1 and others and independents six. One member is

Though Soren became a Chief Minister, he has retained his
Lok Sabha seat and has another two months time to get elected
to the state assembly.

The Congress`s Jharkhand unit has left the final
decision on its future strategy to the party high command,
while ally Jharkhand Vikash Morcha (P) whose chief is former
Chief Minister Babulal Marandi has called a meeting of MLAs
and central office bearers tomorrow to take stock of the
emerging situation.

With the BJP letting known its displeasure, the JMM went
on an apparent damage control exercise claiming that Soren`s
vote happened by "mistake" and that it was a human error. It
also said there was no move to form a government in Jharkhand
with Congress backing.

Minor partners for `wait and watch`

Minor parties in Jharkhand which are
expected to play a crucial role in government formation in the
state following BJP`s withdrawal of support to the JMM-led
coalition are preferring to adopt a wait and watch approach.

In a situation arising out of the BJP`s withdrawal of
support, the Congress says it is not averse to forming an
alternative government in the state.

"We have learnt of the development. There has been no
communication from any party. We are in a wait and watch
mode," said Praveen Prabhakar, Vice-President of the AJSU
Party, which has five members in the ruling JMM-BJP coalition.

Jharkhand Janadhikar Manch (JJM) MLA Bandhu Tirkey, who
supports the ruling alliance, said he was also observing the

The Janata Dal(U), an NDA ally with two MLAs, said the
party was with the BJP. "We are in NDA, and remain so," JD-U`s
Jharkhand unit President Jaleshwar Mahto said.

Meanwhile, the state Congress has left the final decision
to the party high command, while ally Jharkhand Vikash Morcha
(P) has called a meeting of its MLAs and central office
bearers tomorrow to take stock of the situation.

JPCC General Secretary Sailesh Sinha said, "We will abide
by the party high command`s decision."

JVM-P Principal General Secretary Pradip Yadav said, "We
will discuss the matter tomorrow and take a decision."

BJP’s withdrawal letter Thursday

The BJP will meet Jharkhand Governor
M O H Farooq tomorrow on its decision to withdraw support to
the JMM-led coalition government in the state.

Raj Bhavan sources said that party representatives would
meet the governor at 11:00 am.

Deputy Chief Minister and state BJP President Raghuvar
Das will lead a 41-member delegation, including BJP MLAs and
office-bearers, to meet the Governor.

The BJP`s decision followed the party`s Parliamentary
Board deciding to withdraw support to the Shibu Soren
government for his voting along with the Congress in Lok Sabha
on cut motion.


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