Have `offer` of Union Cabinet berth: Soren

Last Updated: Sunday, May 23, 2010 - 23:44

Bokaro: In a further twist to the
Jharkhand impasse, Chief Minister of the state Shibu Soren
Sunday claimed he had a "pending offer" of a berth in the Union
Cabinet and said he would consider it when he felt like
accepting it, even as the BJP said the deadlock would end at
the earliest.

"Yes, the offer has been there for quite some time. But I
will accept it when I feel like," Soren told newsmen in Bokaro
when asked if he had any offer of a berth in the Union
Cabinet.

Yesterday, Soren had said that all options were open for
the JMM and he was in touch with the Congress. Soren said he
continued to be the chief minister of Jharkhand and would
complete his tenure.

The BJP`s national vice-president and party in-charge of
Jharkhand affairs Karuna Shukla, meanwhile, said, "I can
only say that the final outcome will come at the earliest."

She refused to reply if the decision would come on or
after May 25 -- a date the BJP had on May 18 claimed would see
swapping of power between the JMM and the BJP -- while Soren
denied that any such deal had been struck with his ally.

JMM leader Suraj Mandal, who has been with Soren for
three days in Bokaro, said over half-a-dozen JMM MLAs were
"against handing over of power to the BJP".

"Under these circumstances if the BJP takes over power,
anything can happen on the floor of the House," said Mandal.

The Congress continues to be in a "wait and watch" mode
and alleged that the impasse indicates horse-trading.

"We are still in the wait and watch mode. Some seven to
eight JMM MLAs are in touch with the Congress ... even Janata
Dal(U) MLA Gopal Krishna Patar spoke to me over phone today,"
Jharkhand PCC president Pradip Kumar Balmachu said.

The Congress, he said, would demand Governor`s
intervention as per the Constitution "to pull out Jharkhand
from the pit of political mess that has been created by the
BJP."

AJSU vice-president Praveen Prabhakar said the party had
convened an important meeting tomorrow to discuss among others
things the current political situation.

"There is a serious communication gap among the allies,"
Prabhakar observed, referring to contradictory statements
emanating from senior partners.

BJP to withdraw support

Frustrated over JMM backtracking
on its power-sharing deal in Jharkhand, the BJP has decided to
withdraw support to the Shibu Soren Government tomorrow that
it will plunge the state into another spell of political
crisis.

"The BJP will withdraw support to JMM Government
tomorrow," state BJP spokesman Sanjay Seth said tonight, a day
after a defiant Soren asserted that he will continue as the
Chief Minister of Jharkhand and was in touch with the
Congress.

A BJP delegation led by Jharkhand deputy chief
minister Raghuvar Das will meet Governor M O H Farrooq at
11.30 AM tomorrow and hand over the letter of withdrawal of
support to the JMM Government, Seth said.

Ahead of their meeting, former BJP president Rajnath
Singh will hold discussions Arjun Munda, the Chief Ministerial
candidate, and Das.

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 JMM
Legislature party leader and Soren`s son Hemant wrote a letter
to BJP chief Nitin Gadkari pledging support to a BJP-led
government.

But, the JMM backtracked 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 Munda will head
the new coalition government.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, May 23, 2010 - 23:44

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