Wary of reported rebellion among JMM MLAs in Jharkhand, BJP leadership has sought letters of support from the 18 JMM legislators to provide a stable BJP-led government in the tribal state, failing which the alliance will fall through.
BJP has insisted that the JMM MLAs give their letters of support to the party by Tuesday. A BJP leader told PTI that in the meeting held on Saturday, BJP President Nitin Gadkari had categorically told Hemant, son of JMM chief Shibu Soren, that all JMM MLAs will have to pledge their support as BJP could not form a shaky government in Jharkhand.
"Even if one of the 18 JMM MLAs says he will not support a BJP-led government, we may decide not to form a government. We do not want to give the impression that we are dying to form a government in Jharkhand or that we are hungry for power," the BJP leader said.
As political uncertainty in Jharkhand continued for the sixth day, JMM today asserted that Shibu Soren will stay
on as chief minister for now.
"As of now Shibu Soren is Chief Minister and will continue in that post... Our talks with the NDA leaders in Delhi were very constructive," Hemant, Soren's son and JMMLP leader, said in Ranchi after meeting the BJP leadership
in Delhi to end the deadlock.
The apprehension in the BJP, which has 18 MLAs, is that in case it forms a government with the support of JMM,
AJSU and JD(U), it would face a bigger embarrasment than it is facing today.
BJP has threatened to withdraw support to the Shibu Soren government when the JMM chief voted with the Congress-led regime during the cut-motion in Lok Sabha.
"If the government, led by a BJP Chief Minister, falls soon after being formed, the party will lose credibility," a member of the BJP Parliamentary Board said.
While six of the 18 JMM MLAs had raised the banner of revolt, two of them- Teklal Mahato and Champai Soren-
backtracked and joined Hemant in the meeting with Gadkari and other Jharkhand leaders on Saturday.
Three of the rebels are Christian MLAs and have reservations about supporting a BJP government. The main concern within the BJP still remains a President's Rule in the state. This would virtually mean a Congress rule in Jharkhand as the UPA would control everything from the Centre.
"Under President's Rule, Congress is likely to poach our and JMM MLAs to form a government in Jharkhand," a BJP
Central unit leader said.
BJP leaders are now engaged in finding a way out which would keep its image and ideological stand - of being a
party with a difference-remains intact.