The political imbroglio in Jharkhand after Chief Minister Sibu Soren voted against the Opposition’s cut motions in the Lok Sabha last motions seems to be heading for an end.
Soren’s party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), and the BJP on Tuesday said they would share power by rotation. Each party will have chief ministership for 28 months till the assembly’s term is over in December 2014.
After a five-hour meeting in which top leaders of the JMM, BJP and All Jharkhand Students’ Union (AJSU) participated, it was decided that a BJP-led government would take over within a week. The three parties came together in December last year.
This kind of an arrangement was tried in Uttar Pradesh in 1997 between the BJP and Bahujan Samaj Party, but proved abortive. However, in Jammu and Kashmir, it worked well between the Congress and People’s Democratic Party in 2002-08.
“We have reached an agreement that the BJP and JMM will share power for 28 months each, with a BJP-led government taking over in the first phase of the 28 months,” BJP National General Secretary Arjun Munda and Soren said at a press conference here after the meeting.
However, it is not clear who will be chief minister now. The BJP leadership and rank and file are divided on the issue.
On being asked when he would step down, Soren said “very soon”. “I am chief minister at present and will quit in accordance with the agreement,” he said.
BJP and AJSU leaders said that the transfer of power would take place on May 25.
“The resignation by Soren and the power shift will take place on May 25,” said a senior BJP functionary who was in the meeting.
However, a section of JMM legislators are still opposed to the idea of swapping power.