JMM steps up efforts to form alternative government

August 18th, 2008 - 7:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, Aug 18 (IANS) A day after withdrawing support to the Madhu Koda government, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has stepped up efforts to form an alternative government in Jharkhand. According to sources in the JMM, the party leaders are in touch with the central United Progressive Alliance (UPA) leaders to form an alternative government. The party, while submitting its letter of withdrawal of support to Governor Syed Sibte Razi Sunday evening, had asked him to initiate the process to form an alternative government.

The Congress has already announced that it would lend support to the JMM if it forms an alternative government in the state. Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari said in New Delhi Sunday that the party would support the JMM if its leader Shibu Soren manages the numbers.

According to sources, the JMM leaders are trying to get a letter of support from both the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD).

A day after withdrawing support to the Koda government, the JMM leaders were busy holding meetings to chalk out ways to form an alternative government.

Though the independents have rallied behind Chief Minister Madhu Koda, the JMM leaders are reportedly in touch with some of them. According to sources, the JMM is also in touch with two suspended BJP legislators. One suspended BJP legislator, Vishnu Bhaiya, had three days ago said it would be good if Soren is elevated as chief minister.

Meanwhile, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Monday met the governor and demanded dismissal of the Koda government and fresh elections.

The JMM withdrew support to the 23-month-old Koda government Sunday evening, reducing it to a minority. In the 82-member house, Koda now enjoys the support of only 25 legislators.

Koda, an independent legislator, became chief minister with the support of the Congress and the RJD, both part of the UPA, and smaller parties as well as other independents.

The JMM supported the Koda government in 2006 after four independents, unattached legislators who were also ministers, withdrew 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 the state UPA steering committee.

Soren, who became the chief minister for nine days after the assembly elections in 2005, nursed dreams 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 July 22.

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