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Jharkhand parties facing rebellion

india Updated: Sep 28, 2006 14:11 IST
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Most political parties in Jharkhand are facing rebellion as their leaders jockey for power. All the major parties-Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress and even the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-are in the grip of turbulence.

After losing power, the BJP is on the verge of a split. The few legislators who are Babulal Marandi loyalists have opened a new front against the party.

Rabindra Rai, a BJP legislator, is leading the rebel leaders; with him are Kunti Singh, another legislator, as well as Deepak Prakash and Praveen Singh.

The group has called a meeting next week and is likely to formally split the party. The BJP is keeping a tab on its activities.

"After Babulal Marandi quit the BJP it was expected that his loyalists will defect. It is a transition period for the party," a BJP leader said.

The BJP's Karia Munda has formally staked his claim to becoming leader of the opposition. Karia supporters say Arjun Munda should not get that post.

The JMM is facing a revolt after coming to power. About half a dozen legislators have expressed their desire to become ministers.

Simon Marandi, a senior JMM leader, has said: "If my wife Sushila Hansda (JMM legislator) is not inducted into the cabinet, then she will resign from the legislator's post."

Sukhram Oraon, another JMM legislator, has threatened to resign as well.

"If Dulal Bhuiya or Champai Soren are not inducted in the cabinet, then I will resign," said Sukhram Oraon.

The RJD, the second major party supporting the government, is also in a dissent mode.

Considering the strong urge of each legislator to become minister, RJD chief Lalu Yadav has decided to keep the party away from the government and instead support the Madhu Koda government from outside.

The RJD has seven legislators, and five of them were ready to split the party to join the Munda government. Lalu Prasad had assured them cabinet berths once the Munda government was pulled down.

"We have been deceived by our party leadership. If our party does not join the government, what is the gain in supporting the Koda government?" asked a RJD rebel legislator.

The story is no different in the Congress. The Congress decided to support the government from outside and wanted the speaker's post. Stephen Marandi has also staked his claim to the post.

Within the Congress two groups are lobbying for the speaker's post. Pradeep Balmuchu leads one group and Alamgir Aalam the other.

The All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU), which was supporting the Arjun Munda government, has two legislators but faces a similar situation. Chandra Prakash Chaudhary has said he will resign from the assembly because he is unhappy with the political developments.

Meanwhile, Governor Syed Sibte Razi has given an ultimatum to Chief Minister Madhu Koda to form the full council of ministers by October 15, failing which President's Rule will be imposed.

Jharkhand can have 12 ministers, including the chief minister. At present there are eight ministers including the chief minister. Their portfolios are yet to be distributed.

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