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BJP Top Brass Out Of The Loop On Jharkhand Development

The sudden announcement of  Arjun Munda as chief minister of Jharkhand was apparently as much of a surprise to the BJP leadership as it was to the Congress, reports Mail Today. BJP's top decision- making
PTI September 10, 2010 10:25 IST
PTI
The sudden announcement of  Arjun Munda as chief minister of Jharkhand was apparently as much of a surprise to the BJP leadership as it was to the Congress, reports Mail Today.

BJP's top decision- making body, the parliamentary board, that had severed its relationship with Shibu Soren of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha ( JMM) in May, this year, was in for a rude shock.

Between party president Nitin Gadkari, his predecessor Rajnath Singh and former chief minister Arjun Munda, the process of reviving ties with the JMM was finalised without key members of the parliamentary board — L. K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley — getting wind of it.

“ I was told a special invitee of our national executive Ajay Sancheti was a key player in the goings- on in Jharkhand.

One comes to know of these developments from here and there. I suppose we should be happy that we have a government in Jharkhand even if it was born in sin,” a senior member of the BJP parliamentary board said.

Sources said government- formation in Jharkhand was BJP president Nitin Gadkari's initiative.

“ It was clear from interactions with the legislators that Arjun Munda was their choice. It was a natural process that just got precipitated at the BJP president's nudging,” BJP sources said.

It was asserted that even when the central leaders Rajnath Singh and Ananth Kumar had gone to consult Jharkhand MLAs about their choice for a CM, 16 of the 18 legislators decided in favour of Munda.

This was in sharp contrast with the promise of “ good governance” that veteran L. K. Advani had made with his endorsement of Yashwant Sinha's name for the Jharkhand CM's post.

Sources said Advani, Joshi, Swaraj and Jaitley were apparently kept out of loop because “ no intervention” was desired in Munda's selection by bringing Sinha's candidature into the picture.

Considering that it was the board that took the decision to withdraw the BJP's support, leading to government collapse in Jharkhand and subsequent President's Rule, the move was even more intriguing.

The Union cabinet on Thursday approved the revocation of President's rule in Jharkhand, clearing the way for the formation of a new government in the state.

“ The cabinet has made the appropriate recommendation to the President based on the governor's ( M. O. H. Farooq), recommendation.

You will have to wait for the President's decision,” home minister P. Chidambaram told reporters after the meeting.

The governor has since invited BJP MP Arjun Munda, who was elected the leader of the state BJP's legislature party two days ago, to form a government, which is likely to be sworn in on September 11.