JMM pulls plug, puts Jharkhand govt in minority

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Ranchi
  • |
  • Updated: Jan 08, 2013 00:03 IST

The eighth government in the 12-year-old state of Jharkhand found itself on the brink of collapse on Monday with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) pulling out of the 28-month-old coalition headed by the BJP.

"The support has been taken back. We would go to the Governor's house tomorrow (to submit a letter on the withdrawal)," JMM chief Sibu Soren told waiting reporters at his residence in Ranchi.

With the withdrawal of JMM's support of 18 MLAs, the Munda-government has been reduced to a minority with only 27 MLAs with own 18 MLAs, AJSU Party's 6, JD (U) 2 and 1 independent.

The worst fears of the government falling came true after a fortnight-long crisis that the state had got into following JMM's handing over a list of demands including transfer of power to JMM.

Early on Monday afternoon, chief minister Arjun Munda had tried a last ditch effort to save the coalition government from falling by meeting Sibu Soren at his residence for nearly half an hour.

The decision came at the JMM's executive committee meeting, which was attended by all senior leaders including party MLAs and MPs, at the residence of Sibu Soren in Morhabadi in Ranchi.

Prior to Sibu's meet with the press, his son and deputy chief minister Hemant Soren said his party has demanded BJP to change the current leadership, publicly accept the '28-month-rotation of power' agreement and ask its Godda MP Nishikant Dubey to furnish a "strong apology" for making anti-JMM statements tarnishing the party's image.

Junior Soren seemed to have been hinting at the possibility of reconsideration if the BJP yields to its three demands.

On December 25, Hemant Soren had handed over a list of demands including rotation of power, Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act, domicile policy, status of nine regional and tribal languages and rehabilitation of those who took part in the Jharkhand movement and financial aid to madarsas.

However, Munda had categorically denied existence of any power rotation agreement with the JMM and denied handing over power to its coalition partner.

This is the eighth government in the 12-year-old state which is on its way out.


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