JMM deserts Koda, says options open if UPA does not back it (Third Lead)August 17th, 2008 - 9:39 pm ICT by IANS
Ranchi, Aug 17 (IANS) With Shibu Soren eyeing the Jharkhand chief minister’s post, his party Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) Sunday evening withdrew support to the Madhu Koda government and launched efforts to form its own government. The 17 JMM legislators met Governor Syed Sibte Razi and submitted their letter withdrawing support to the Koda government.
The party asked the governor to start the process of installing the alternate government, and made it clear that if the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) does not support the JMM’s bid at government formation, it has the “options to go to others”.
However, Shibu Soren told reporters here: “The withdrawal of support has more to do with governance than (my) becoming chief minister. The Koda government was not functioning in the interest of people. We were supporting it for two years but it has failed to live up to people’s expectations.”
Sudhir Mahto, deputy chief minister and senior JMM leader, said: “The party legislators’ meet decided to withdraw support to the government. After legislators meet, the central committee meeting endorsed the decision.”
“We will request the governor to initiate the process to form the next government in the state,” he said, adding that the options within the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) will be explored to form the government.
“If the UPA does not come out in support of the JMM, our options are open to go to others,” Mahto said.
WIth the JMM withdrawing its support, the Koda government enjoys support of only 24 legislators in the 82-member state assembly. Of these, nine are Independents or unattached.
Main opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has 35 legislators, including five suspended Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators.
Koda, an Independent legislator, became chief minister with the support of the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), both part of the UPA, and smaller parties as well as other Independents.
The JMM supported the Koda government in 2006 after four Independent, unattached legislators who were also ministers withdrew their support to the NDA government headed by Arjun Munda of the BJP.
Koda, one of the Independent ministers who pulled down the Munda government, became the chief minister and Soren was made chairperson of state UPA steering committee.
Soren, who became the chief minister for nine days after the assembly elections in 2005, nursed the dream of returning to the post. Last Tuesday, he staked his claim but Koda refused to step down.
Soren secured the backing of the Congress after supporting the Manmohan Singh government in the crucial parliament trust vote of July 22.
The two parties earlier this week announced support to Soren if he managed to win over Independents who sided with Koda.
Tags: central committee, committee meeting, deputy chief minister, government formation, indepe, independents, jmm leader, legislator, legislators, madhu koda, member state, mukti, national democratic alliance, nda, progressive alliance, razi, shibu soren, state assembly, sunday evening, UPA