HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

Congress seems willing to support JMM, but with certain conditions

Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times  New Delhi/Ranchi, January 07, 2013
First Published: 23:09 IST(7/1/2013) | Last Updated: 09:03 IST(8/1/2013)

With the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) withdrawing support to the BJP government in Jharkhand over rotation of power, the Congress is readying itself to fish in troubled waters.

The Congress seems willing to support the JMM, but with certain conditions. It wants chief minister Arjun Munda to resign, and has sought a "concrete assurance" from the party that the alliance would continue till the next assembly elections.

A section of the Jharkhand Congress is even willing to play second fiddle to Shibu Soren's party, if only to keep the "communal BJP at bay". But, for now, it's going to be "wait and watch".

"We will decide the future course of action once the BJP government falls," said Shakeel Ahmed, party in-charge of Jharkhand. Since 2000, Jharkhand has seen eight governments and two periods of President's rule.

This time, the Congress is confident that besides 18 JMM legislators, five RJD MLAs and six members of the All Jharkhand Students Union, it will also be supported by seven independents who got Jharkhand Congress chief Pradeep Kumar Balmuchu elected to the Rajya Sabha last year. The Congress needs to attain the magic figure of 41 in the 82-member assembly. 

As per a new combination being worked out, JMM chief Sibu Soren may become  CM, with RJD's Annapurna Devi and Congress' Rajendra Prasad Singh as deputy CMs. The Sudesh Mahto-led AJSU Party would be given the home and rural development ministries, and independent MLA Bandhu Tirkey would also get an important portfolio.

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