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JMM Non-Committal On Soren Contesting Bypoll

Though BJP had reportedly given a week's time to JMM to come up with a "concrete commitment" to carry forward their alliance in Jharkhand, the latter remained non-committal on whether Chief Minister Shibu Soren would
PTI May 05, 2010 9:18 IST
PTI
Though BJP had reportedly given a week's time to JMM to come up with a "concrete commitment" to carry forward their alliance in Jharkhand, the latter remained non-committal on whether Chief Minister Shibu Soren would contest a bypoll to enter the Assembly or would make way for a change of guard.

Soren's continuation as CM largely depends upon his contesting a bypoll before June 30. So far, no JMM MLA has resigned to vacate a seat for the JMM president, raising doubts whether he would at all contest a bypoll as he did in January 2009.

He had lost the Damad bypoll then, forcing him to quit as CM.

Earlier in the day, a very senior BJP leader, who is among a section of the party advocating to save the government, told PTI that both the JMM and the BJP had fought for separate Jharkhand and the two parties were willing to "take forward the development work".

"But there should not be any more delay on the part of the JMM which has been told to come up with a concrete commitment at the earliest, getting a letter of support of all the JMM 18 MLAs," he added.

This was conveyed to the JMM after Soren sided with the UPA during the cut motions in Parliament over the Finance Bill.

"The alliance government is safe and will continue. The dialogue process among the alliance partners will also continue on all matters," JMM leader and HRD Minister Hemlal Murmu told newsmen after the JMM-LP meeting here.

He, however, remained non-committal on whether Soren would contest a bypoll by June-end to enter the Assembly and continue in his post as per constitutional obligation or would quit as suggested by Hemant Soren on April 29.

"We have left the decision on Guruji (Soren). It is his wish, whether to contest or not," Murmu said, leavingĀ  a question mark on a possible leadership change in the future.

He sidestepped questions on Hemant's April 29 letter to the BJP, in which he had said his father would quit from his post if the BJP so desired to enable a leader of its (BJP) choice to lead a future coalition, saying everything would be discussed as and when required during the process of dialogue.

Murmu said the party did not want another bout of President's rule or mid-term poll in the state.

Soren, JMM MP from Dumka, had assumed power in December with support from BJP following a fractured mandate and is required to win a bypoll to enter the house by June end.

The BJP had on April 28 announced withdrawal of support before putting it on hold the next day even as the political uncertainty is set to enter second week tomorrow.

Thereafter, several rounds of talks ended inconclusive among allies even as the opposition demanded convening of the House in order to clear the political uncertainty through a show of strength on the floor. PTI