Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s resignation Saturday following his party’s poor show in the national election has the Uttarakhand and Jharkhand governments worried.
Jharkahnd Mukti Morcha chief and Dumka candidate Sibu Soren campaigns in Jharkhand. (PTI photo)
Their anxiety is that the Congress’ rout in these states, which survive on a wafer-thin majority, may trigger “vulnerable” MLAs to cross over to the rival camp, dealing them a deadly blow.
HT had first reported on May 1 that a BJP victory in the national election could spell trouble for these three governments.
This is why Nitish’s resignation on “moral grounds” is being seen as a pre-emptive move to avoid the embarrassment of his JD(U) MLAs revolting against him.
“They (BJP) want to exploit the situation and dislodge other governments but saffron party’s move will prove costly to it,” Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat said in Dehradun, amidst BJP’s demand for his resignation.
In the 70-seat Uttarakhand assembly, the Congress has 32 MLAs, four short of majority, and survives on the support of seven legislators of the Progressive Democratic Front (PDF), comprising the BSP, the UKD and Independents.
Congress sources admit that some of its legislators and those from PDF were in touch with the BJP and could pull the plug on the Rawat government.
Similarly, in Jharkhand, the Hemant Soren-led coalition government of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Congress and RJD is surviving by a majority of just one seat. In the 79-seat assembly, the ruling coalition has the support of 40 MLAs — including the speaker — while the opposition has 39.