Miffed Jharkhand party sends questionnaire to Congress

April 11th, 2008 - 5:36 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Ranchi, April 11 (IANS) The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has sent a set of seven questions to the Congress party, its ally in India’s ruling coalition after JMM chief Shibu Soren failed to find a berth at the union ministry reshuffle last Sunday. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inducted seven new ministers, but not Soren, who had to leave the cabinet after being named a suspect in a murder case. He has since been acquitted.

JMM is unhappy with the development and asked its United Progressive Alliance (UPA) partner the Congress seven questions.

Does UPA exist in Jharkhand and who is the head of the state UPA, the JMM asks. Does the Congress want to form the government in the state and destabilise the present one? Why does the Congress official in charge of Jharkhand “keep changing statements”? Why do Congress legislators support the government at the floor of the house but criticise it outside?

The JMM also asks:

- The Congress fought two by-elections in Jharkhand in the last 18 months. Both candidates forfeited their deposits. What was the reason?

- During the last four years of UPA rule at the centre, elections took place in 11 states. In how many has the Congress retained power? In how many has it lost?

- What right does a party whose leaders exist due to patronage have to raise a question mark on dedicated and seasoned politician?

“The Congress should reply to the questions after consulting their party president Sonia Gandhi,” said Supriya Bhattacharya, secretary of JMM.

The Congress has not reacted yet.

Political analysts feel the outburst is an indication that the JMM is trying to get out of the UPA, and there are reports that it is negotiating with NDA leaders.

The Congress props up the Madhu Koda government in Jharkhand, but has been threatening to withdraw support. Last week, it repeated the threat.

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