The Bharatiya Janata Party’s attempt to cobble up an alternative government in Jharkhand has been put on hold.
The party’s core committee, which had earlier okayed for an alternative regime with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and the All Jharkhand Students’ Union (AJSU), now wants to trade cautiously to avoid any fresh embarrassment.
National chief of the BJP Nitin Gadkari is said to have given a rethinking on the government formation exercise after talking to JMM legislator Hemant Soren and ASJU chief Sudesh Mahato. Sources said both the leaders appeared non-committal about extending unflinching support to the BJP-led dispensation during their telephonic conversation with Gadkari on Friday. The BJP had a bitter experience with both the parties, which had rejected its proposal for swapping of power three months ago. Arjun Munda, who was tipped to be the chief minister at that time, had to pack up his plan as JMM chief Sibu Soren backtracked on its commitment.
Apparently dejected at the way the issue was dwelt with by national leaders, former chief minister Arjun Munda has returned to his hometown of Jamshedpur. Munda, who had earlier acknowledged a serious move to form the government, went on denying it being in the agenda for discussion at the core committee.
In fact, Munda, who was spearheading a surreptitious campaign to mobilise the JMM and the ASJU, found himself cornered in the core committee after a majority of State leaders including Yashwant Sinha, Karia Munda, Raghubar Das, et al, disapproved the plan. They got emboldened owing the stand taken by Advani, Swaraj and national party chief Arun Jaitley.
Former BJP MLA Saryu Rai, who was also present in the core committee meeting, refused to confirm whether the government formation issue was discussed. “Government formation exercise was not in the agenda of the meeting. It may, however, be discussed by Gadkari when he met Jharkhand leaders individually,” said Rai.
Sources close to Arjun Munda said Gadkari was convinced at the necessity of forming the government in the State, but declined supporting the move in view of internal differences. “Munda is still in touch with prospective ally leaders and he may spring a surprise at an appropriate period,” they maintained.