Shibu Soren stunned the BJP when he voted for the UPA against the cut motions moved by the Opposition.
The Jharkhand CM’s move has angered the party and may even lead to its withdrawal of support to his government.
There was speculation that Soren may have struck a deal with the Congress under which he may move to the Centre and his son Hemant become deputy chief minister of Jharkhand.
The Congress saw nothing unusual in the move. “The JMM is part of the UPA at the Centre. In Jharkhand, Soren wanted to become chief minister and that is why he took BJP's support,” Congress leader and in-charge Jharkhand K. Keshava Rao said.
He, however, ruled out any truck with the JMM if the BJP withdrew support. “ The question doesn’t arise.”
But BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said: “Soren voted for the UPA both during electronic voting as well as when the slips were used to register the vote. Our party is naturally very upset with his action.”
Soren is serving his third term as CM, having been sworn in on December 30 after the NDA backed his claim to form the government. He is the Lok Sabha MP from Dumka. But, under the Constitution, he must get elected to the assembly by June 30 or quit as CM. He has been hunting for a safe seat to contest a bypoll.
If the Congress decides to back Soren or work out a deal, BJP leaders said they would not be able to “morally” oppose the arrangement as they had backed him the first time, despite misgivings within the party about his “tainted” image.