Jharkhand’s politics theatre of the absurd, says BJP (Second Lead)

May 21st, 2010 - 9:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Ranchi/New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) Apparently fed up with Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren’s sudden flip-flop, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Friday termed the ongoing political drama in Jharkhand as a “theatre of the absurd”.
Senior BJP leader M.M. Joshi, noting Soren’s refusal to quit as chief minister despite earlier agreeing to step down under the two parties’ power-sharing accord, told reporters in New Delhi: “Usually I do not comment on such issues, but it has become a theatre of the absurd.”

In Jharkhand, Soren Friday said he was confident of completing his five-year term as the chief minister. Speaking to reporters in Bokaro, Soren said: “My government was formed for five years and we will complete the full tenure.”

On Thursday, Soren had added to the political confusion in the state when he declared: “I will not quit from the chief minister’s post. The rotation of power is not acceptable to us. I will fight the assembly poll.”

However, he did not reveal the name of the seat from which he would contest the poll to the state assembly.

The BJP is waiting for a formal communication from the JMM on the issue. Both the BJP and the JMM May 18 jointly announced they would share power in rotation for the remainder of the state assembly term.

“Shibu Soren is an unpredictable politician. We will wait till May 25 and decide the future course of action. Soren had assured us he will quit on May 25 to transfer power. We cannot pass a statement on media reports,” a senior BJP leader told IANS in Ranchi, declining to be named.

The BJP leader added: “There are only two options before the party, either to form government with support of the JMM or to withdraw support to Soren.”

Meanwhile, two dissenting JMM legislators Teklal Mahto and Lobin Hembrom were in New Delhi and reportedly are to hold talks with Congress leaders on formation of an alternative government.

BJP sources revealed that the JMM does not want a strong BJP chief ministerial nominee. According to sources, the BJP has cleared the name of party national general secretary and former chief minister Arjun Munda to take over. Munda is seen by JMM leaders as a strong chief minister who would not be dictated to.

The JMM wants the BJP to nominate a tribal legislator as the chief minister, which the party has rejected, sources said.

According to sources, the JMM has kept its options open and would go with any party but on the condition that Shibu Soren continues to be chief minister. Around eight JMM legislators want Soren to continue as chief minister under a United Progressive Alliance government.

Jharkhand has been in the midst of a political crisis since Soren voted against the BJP’s cut motions in the Lok Sabha last month. That led the BJP, a junior partner in Jharkhand’s ruling coalition, to threaten to withdraw support to the JMM. However, they decided against it, sensing an opportunity to form a state ministry of its own with the support of the JMM.

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