After keeping both Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) MLAs and alliance partners in suspense for three days, Chief Minister Shibu Soren finally declared on Sunday that he would resign on Monday.
Soren continued, however, to insist on Champai Soren being nominated his successor, even as his alliance partners — the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) — refused to support his decision. With the JMM threatening to recommend President’s Rule to the governor unless Champai Soren was made CM, and the state Congress legislature party too asking the central leadership to consider the same, a spell of President’s Rule in the state became a distinct possibility.
The Jharkhand government has been facing a crisis since Soren lost the by election on Thursday. He had been sworn in as the CM on August 27 and was constitutionally required to become a member of the state assembly within the next six months. Initially, he lobbied for a chance to contest another by election within the period still available to him and thereby continue as CM, but his alliance partners were opposed to the idea.
Earlier in the day, Soren sent messages to the Congress and the RJD informing them of his decision. He received no reply from the Congress. RJD sources revealed, however, that Lalu Prasad Yadav has threatened to withdraw his party’s support unless Soren unilaterally announced his resignation.
“Soren should resign. He is delaying,” Lalu Prasad told reporters in Delhi.
(with agency inputs from Delhi)