BJP demands president’s rule in Jharkhand

August 1st, 2008 - 8:27 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Ranchi, Aug 1 (IANS) The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Jharkhand Friday demanded president’s rule in the state to stop Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren from lobbying for the chief minister’s post. “President’s rule should be immediately imposed in Jharkhand to stop political bargaining,” former chief minister and BJP leader Arjun Munda told reporters in Giridih district.

Soren, who provided vital support to the Manmohan Singh government in the July 22 trust vote with his five Lok Sabha MPs, is said to have successfully lobbied for two cabinet berths as well as the chief minister’s post. But this has stirred controversy in the state.

“It is unfortunate that the JMM is bargaining in the state after supporting the Manmohan Singh government in the trust vote,” Munda said at a party event.

The BJP has started a two-day training programme for party workers in Giridih, specially formulated after eight BJP MPs switched loyalties during the trust vote.

The Jharkhand government — headed by Madhu Koda, an independent — has the support of 43 legislators in the 82-member assembly. The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) has 17 JMM legislators, nine from the Congress and seven from the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). The rest are from smaller parties or are independent.

Soren’s eagerness to become chief minister has ruffled many feathers.

“If Shibu Soren is elevated to chief minister’s post in the present political scenario then it will be an unfortunate development for the state,” Munda said.

The former chief minister also questioned Soren’s claim that the people of the state wanted to see him as chief minister.

“Where does JMM have the support of the people?. If people wanted Soren as chief minister, then the JMM would have got a majority in the assembly elections,” Munda said.

Soren had to quit as union coal minister in October 2006 after a Delhi court awarded life imprisonment to him in the case relating to the murder of his secretary Shashinath Jha.

Earlier, he had to step down as minister in July 2004 when a non-bailable warrant was issued against him in the Chirudih massacre case. He had quit the central cabinet on his own March 2005 when he was made Jharkhand chief minister for seven days.

The BJP leader also heavily criticised the present Madhu Koda governmnet in the state.

“The law and order is (situation) worsening and Maoists are killing politicians and innocent people. The government has failed to provide security to the people of the state,” Munda said.

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