A spell of President’s Rule leading up to the elections — both assembly and parliamentary — is the Congress’s most preferred scenario after Shibu Soren’s defeat in the Tamar bypolls. The CM was defeated by the Jharkhand Party’s Gopal Krishna Patar on Thursday.
Sources said that the Congress, with nine legislators in the assembly, was not interested in forming a government in the crisis-ridden state even if other UPA parties were ready to back it. They said that the party would prefer central rule to be followed by elections.
“We are not power hungry. But the majority is still with the UPA. The NDA has not won,” said Ajay Maken, general secretary in-charge of Jharkhand.
Sources said that if any party made a bid for it, Governor Syed Sibtey Razi would ascertain the claim before taking a decision.
On its part, the Congress has gained little from the “embarrassing” experiment of installing first an Independent MLA, Madhu Koda, and then Soren as chief minister without sharing power. It has had to bear the brunt of anti-incumbency without getting the benefits of being in power. A spell of central rule is expected to help it get over this disadvantage.
The problem for the Congress could come if RJD chief Lalu Prasad backs either Koda or Bandhu Tirkey, another aspirant. But with Lok Sabha elections coming up, the Congress may this time resist this pressure lest it further compound its embarrassment.