Jharkhand lurches towards political uncertainty, JMM holds key:
Jharkhand was Wednesday headed towards political uncertainty with a
messy, fractured electoral verdict that gave no clear leads to any
grouping. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) was pitchforked into the
Muslim MLA strength in Jharkhand Assembly more than doubles
Morcha (JMM) leader Shibu Soren Saturday staked claim to form the
government in Jharkhand, with support from the Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP) and the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU).
accompanied by his son Hemant Soren, AJSU president Sudesh Mahto,
BJP state chief Raghubar Das, former BJP president Rajnath Singh,
former chief minister Arjun Munda and others met Governor K.
Sankaranarayan and handed a list of 42 legislators supporting him.
The strength of the Jharkhand assembly is 81.
The list includes
18 legislators each of JMM and BJP, five of the AJSU and one
independent. The BJP's ally, Janata Dal-United (JD-U), which has two
legislators, is yet to hand over its letter of support.
After handing over
of the letter of support, Munda said: "We have supported JMM to
provide a stable government in the state."
Mahto said the
AJSU was supporting JMM for "a stable and corruption free
government" in Jharkhand, while Hemant Soren said: "We came together
in the interest of the people of the state to provide a stable
Though no formal
announcement has been made about the coalition, sources in the JMM
said the formula for the next government has been finalised and
there will be two deputy chief ministers - one each from the BJP and
Raghubar Das of
the BJP and Sudesh Mahto of AJSU would be made deputy chief
ministers, the sources added.
As far as cabinet
berths are concerned, the JMM and BJP could get four each, AJSU two
and JD-U may get one berth. Jharkhand can have a maximum 12
ministers, including the chief minister. The assembly speaker' post
would go to the BJP, the sources added.
hectic political developments. Rajnath Singh, who arrived here
Friday night to monitor developments, met the AJSU president and
later Shibu Soren arrived at his hotel to meet him. From there, a
21-member delegation of the JMM, BJP and AJSU directly went to the
Raj Bhavan where they handed over the letter of support to Shibu
Soren to the governor.
Earlier a meeting
of the newly-elected BJP legislators had passed a resolution
supporting the JMM to form the government. They also elected
Raghubar Das as the leader of the legislative party.
The JMM had Friday
announced it would form the next government with the BJP, spurning
the last-ditch efforts of the Congress to woo it. Union Food
Processing Minister Subodh Kant Sahay met Soren Friday night to
dissuade him from joining hands with BJP, while Congress leaders
also reportedly met the AJSU president. However, the talks foundered
as Shibu Soren refused to accept anything less than the chief
assembly poll result Dec 23 threw up a fractured mandate with the
Congress and its ally, the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P)
of former chief minister Babulal Marandi winning 25 seats, while the
JMM and the BJP won 18 each.
Janata Dal (RJD) and the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) have
five seats each, while the JD-U has two. The remaining eight seats
were won by small parties and independents.