JMM demands rotational Chief Ministership in Jharkhand
New Delhi: JMM leaders today created further
discomfort in the BJP by putting forward a demand that their
proposed alliance government in Jharkhand should be headed by
each party on a rotational basis for the remaining tenure of
Though JMM and BJP had made some progress during their
talks yesterday on the alliance, the gains were frittered away
when Shibu Soren's party demanded that each party should head
the coalition government for 28 months. Four-and-a-half years
of the tenure of Soren government are left.
"Last night we had even reached the stage where
distribution of ministries between JMM and BJP were discussed
but now they are making this demand which is not acceptable to
us under any condition," a senior BJP leader said.
BJP leaders are wary of going for this rotational
arrangement due to their bitter experiences in the past.
"BSP had ditched us in Uttar Pradesh when we supported
Mayawati as Chief Minister in a rotational arrangement, then H
D Kumaraswamy (JD-S) betrayed our trust in Karnataka when he
did not support B S Yeddyurappa as CM," a BJP MP said.
Senior BJP leaders Rajnath Singh and Ananth Kumar have
been appointed by the party to negotiate with JMM leader
Hemant Soren, son of Chief Minister Shibu Soren. A few rounds
of meetings and back-channel parleys have taken place.
"We are discussing government formation on the basis of
the letter written by Hemant Soren pledging support to a
BJP-led government. Our leaders who are in talks with JMM were
given clear instructions that if any other demands are made we
will not agree. We are not dying to form a government in
Jharkhand," Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj
BJP had decided to withdraw support to the Shibu Soren
government on April 28 after the JMM chief voted against the
opposition cut motions in the Lok Sabha, but put its decision
on hold after Hemant's offer to head the state government.
Patience is said to be running thin among the seniormost
leaders in BJP. However, sources said a decision on the issue
may take some more time as party president Nitin Gadkari,
Swaraj, L K Advani and others will be away on Saturday.
Shibu Soren, who is in town, is likely to leave for
Chennai for a medical check-up causing further delay.
"Though Gadkari has been authorised to take a final call,
he may call a Parliamentary Board meeting before deciding
anything," a senior BJP leader said.
A major concern in the BJP top brass is also the
stability of a JMM-supported government. "In a coalition there
is no guarantee but there should be some semblance of
stability in the alliance," a BJP Rajya Sabha member insisted.
Some leaders claimed that Hemant Soren has got letters
of support from 16 of his 18 MLAs but BJP leaders are keeping
their fingers crossed, saying these were still to reach them.