The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday deferred its withdrawal of support to the Shibu Soren-led Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) government in Jharkhand.
BJP leaders did not meet Governor M.O.H. Farook at 11 am as scheduled to convey the party's decision to take back legislative support following Soren's support to the Congress-led government on the cut motion in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
"We could not meet the governor as one BJP minister, Baijnath Ram, is in New Delhi. We will seek time from the governor when the minister comes back to Ranchi," said Raghubar Das, state BJP president and deputy chief minister in the Soren government.
"We stand by our decision to withdraw support," he stressed.
However, BJP sources said the withdrawal had been deferred in light of an offer by Soren's son Hemant Soren that the BJP could form government in the state.
Hemant Soren had told reporters on Wednesday night that the BJP had been requested to review its decision. He said the BJP could form the government.
Party insiders say they want Soren to resign as chief minister first and formally hand over a letter offering support to a BJP government.
However, Das said the decision rested with the BJP leadership in Delhi.
"We have formally not received any such offer from the JMM. Any decision regarding JMM's offer or any other matter will be decided by the parliamentary board of the party in New Delhi.
"We are informing our central leaders, including party president Nitin Gadkari, senior leader L.K. Advani and Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj about the developments in Jharkhand," he said.
It is also learnt that Hemant Soren has already sent a letter to Gadkari.
The Soren government will be reduced to a minority if the BJP backs out. In the 82-member Jharkhand assembly, JMM and BJP have 18 members each, AJSU five, JD-U two, Congress 14, the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVP-M) of former chief minister Babulal Marandi 11 and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) five. The others are mainly independents.