Political instability has resurfaced in Jharkhand with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and BJP — the two main allies of the ruling coalition government led by the BJP’s Arjun Munda — crossing swords over power-sharing.
Throwing the state into political turmoil is JMM chief Sibu Soren, who has flexed his political muscle over a claimed deal for power-sharing, which the BJP has rejected.
The coalition has 44 seats in the 81-member assembly, with the JMM and BJP having 18 seats each, the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) Party having six and the JD-U two seats. Chief minister Munda has two deputies — Sudesh Mahato of the AJSU Party and JMM leader Sibu Soren’s son Hemant.
The trouble began on December 25, when the JMM raised six local policy issues through an official letter to Munda, demanding a written response, besides claiming that it had a power-sharing pact with the BJP.
The letter claimed there is a tacit pact under which there are to be CMs from the JMM and BJP for 28 months each.
Munda completes 28 months on January 10 and if he refuses to relinquish his post, there is a strong possibility of the JMM withdrawing support to the government. BJP leaders, including its central leadership in New Delhi, have denied the existence of such a pact.
Breaking his silence after several months, Munda on Thursday made an official statement that no such power-sharing pact exists. He said this in a written response to Sibu Soren as well. Munda told HT, “I have answered their queries and am prepared to face any eventuality.”
The JMM reacted to Munda’s response by calling a core committee meeting on Sunday.