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BJP To Form Govt In Jharkhand With JMM, AJSU Support

Bringing to an end the lingering stalemate in Jharkand, the BJP will head a new coalition government with ruling alliance partners JMM and AJSU announcing their support on Saturday.BJP General Secretary Ananth Kumar while announcing
PTI May 08, 2010 17:46 IST
PTI

Bringing to an end the lingering stalemate in Jharkand, the BJP will head a new coalition government with ruling alliance partners JMM and AJSU announcing their support on Saturday.

BJP General Secretary Ananth Kumar while announcing the decision taken at a meeting in New Delhi said the BJP will head the government for the remaining four-and-a-half year term of the state Assembly. The JMM had earlier proposed a rotational chief ministership between the party and BJP.

BJP Parliamentary Board will meet on Monday to decide its Chief Ministerial candidate. It was not immediately clear when Shibu Soren, the JMM supremo, will resign as chief minister.

The crisis in the mineral-rich state was triggered after an angry BJP decided to withdraw support to the JMM on April 28, a day after its Chief Minister and  MP Shibu Soren voted against the BJP-sponsored cut-motions in the Lok Sabha. The decision was however kept on hold.

Former Union Minister Yashwant Sinha, ex-chief minister and General Secretary Arjun Munda, Deputy Chief Minister Raghubar Das and Transport Minister Neelkant Singh Munda are being mentioned as probable candidates to be the eighth chief minister of the mineral-rich state in nine-and-a-half years.

The meeting was attended by BJP President Nitin Gadkari, Ananth Kumar, Jharkhand Deputy Chief Minister Raghubar Das, JMM Legislature Party leader Hemant Soren and AJSU President Sudesh Mahato here.

"We had fruitful discussions with senior BJP leaders. We will support a government in Jharkhand under BJP leadership. The decision has been taken to save the state from President's Rule," Hemant Soren said.

Anant Kumar said, "A BJP-led NDA government will be formed in Jharkhand. We want to save the state from Congress misrule. A stable government which stands for development will be formed," he said. Kumar insisted that the talks ended on a happy note. This will be the third BJP-led government in Jharkhand.

"We have decided that this government will complete its full term....This decision has been taken for the entire period of the Assembly," Kumar added.

 Shibu Soren said, "the formula that has been devised has my consent."

JMM is keen that a tribal should be the next chief minister and at the same time is reportedly not in favour of Munda, a tribal leader. Sinha and Das are both non-tribals.

A Common Minimum Programme (CMP) on how to run the government will be chalked out soon. Gadkari is sending an observer to Ranchi to discuss the matter with BJP, JMM and All Jharkhand Students Union, and state's JD(U) leaders.

BJP put its decision on hold after Hemant made an offer to it to head the government in the state. The JMM had regretted Shibu Soren's action and claimed it was a mistake and apologised.

In the 82-member Jharkhand assembly, the new coalition will have 45 members. JMM and BJP have 18 members each, AJSU five and JD-U two. Two Independents are also in this grouping.

There are reports that a couple of JMM members are not keen on the new arrangement but the party leadership is confident of winning them over. PTI