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BJP dumps soren, JMM talks to Cong

india Updated: May 25, 2010 01:34 IST
Gautam Majumdar
Gautam Majumdar
Hindustan Times
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Jharkhand was once again thrown into political uncertainty on Monday after the BJP withdrew support to Shibu Soren's government.

The withdrawal came after weeks of talks between Soren's Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and BJP failed to work out a form-ula that would give the latter a bigger say in state government.

After a BJP delegation handed a letter, informing its decision to pull out of the government, Governor M.O.H. Farooq asked Soren to prove majority in the assembly in seven days.

JMM began negotiations with Congress on a possible alliance.

"We are in touch with other parties and confident of winning the trust vote," said Hemant Soren, son of the JMM leader.

If that does not happen, Jharkhand could be placed under President's Rule.

Trouble for JMM-led government in Jharkhand began after Soren on April 27 voted against a cut motion brought by the BJP in Parliament. That decision, which favoured the Congress, embarrased the BJP, forcing its leaders to announce severing the party's ties with the JMM in Jharkhand.

The BJP, however, held its decision and began discussion on a possible restructuring of the ruling coalition, including the possibility of a BJP chief minister.

On May 8, the JMM said it would support a BJP government. Ten days later, the BJP agreed to a rotation of power with Soren.

It set a May 25 deadline for Soren to resign, so their agreement could be kickstarted.

But on May 20, Soren refused to quit and announced talks were on with both the BJP and the Congress. And on Sunday, he said he had an offer of a Union cabinet berth from the Congress.

The JMM and the BJP have 18 seats each in the 81-member legislature.