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Arjun Munda Sworn In Along With Two Ministers

Ranchi: Arjun Munda was on Saturday sworn in as Jharkhand Chief Minister heading a BJP-JMM coalition at a ceremony skipped by top BJP leaders, including L K Advani, amidst reports of differences within the party
PTI September 11, 2010 14:39 IST
PTI
Ranchi: Arjun Munda was on Saturday sworn in as Jharkhand Chief Minister heading a BJP-JMM coalition at a ceremony skipped by top BJP leaders, including L K Advani, amidst reports of differences within the party over forming a government again with its erstwhile partner.  

AJSU chief Sudesh Mahto and JMM leader Hemant Soren, son of former chief minister Shibu Soren, were also sworn in at the ceremony, which was earlier scheduled to be held at 11:00 am but took place at 11:55 am, considered a more auspicious time.  

Advani and other leaders including Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley kept away from the function apparently unhappy over the party coming together with JMM after breaking ties earlier this year when the Shibu Soren voted for the UPA government during voting on cut motions in Lok Sabha.  

Though, officially, BJP leaders have attributed Advani's decision to not attend the function to festivals falling today, party sources said the veteran leader has decided to skip the event as he is miffed with the developments.  

BJP leaders are said to be miffed with party president Nitin Gadkari and former chief Rajnath Singh taking a decision on forming the coalition government in Jharkhand without involving others.  

Governor M O H Farooq, who invited Munda to form the government on September 9, had directed him to prove his majority on the floor of the house within a week.  

The 42-year-old BJP leader, who became chief minister for a third time, is the eighth in 10 years since the mineral rich state was carved out of Bihar on November 15, 2000.  

Munda has the support of 45 MLAs in the Assembly with an effective strength of 81.  No chief minister has ever completed a full term in the state.  

The BJP and the JMM came back together after three months of parting company which had led to imposition of President's Rule.  

President's Rule had been imposed in Jharkhand on June 1 with the Assembly being put under suspended animation after BJP withdrew support to the Shibu Soren-led government.  No party had come forward later to form an alternative government. PTI