BJP to form govt in Jharkhand

In a fresh bid to break the political stalemate in Jharkhand, the BJP on Tuesday decided to stake claim to form a government with the support of erstwhile partner JMM and AJSU in the state which is under President's rule.

"The party has decided to form a new government. Now, the BJP legislature party will elect a new leader after which we will seek an appointment from the governor to stake claim," senior party leader, Ajay Maroo, said.

The BJP and JMM are tying up after splitting three months back following cross voting by JMM chief, Shibu Shoren, in Lok Sabha during cut motions in the Budget session in April brought by BJP and Left parties.

BJP spokesman Sanjay Seth said legislature party leader Raghuvar Das has quit from the post, indicating that former chief minister Arjun Munda is likely to head the BJP-led government. "JMM has extended unconditional support to BJP's initiatives to form a government," JMM spokesman, Mr Suprio Bhattacharya, told PTI.

His comments come close on the heels of Shibhu Soren's son and party leader Hemant Soren saying that the party was open to support like-minded parties as elections might again throw a fractured mandate.

After the JMM gave its 'unconditional support' to the BJP's initiative, several BJP MLAs have gathered at BJP headquarters to meet. AJSU's vice-president, Mr Praveen Prabhakar, also said his five-member legislature party has extended full support to the BJP's initiative.

BJP parliamentary board had on April 28 decided to withdraw support to the JMM government after Mr Soren voted against the party-sponsored cut motion. However, the decision was put on hold when JMM Legislature party leader and Soren's son Hemant wrote a letter to BJP chief Nitin Gadkari pledging support to a BJP-led government. But, the JMM backtracked and demanded rotational power sharing with each party leading the government for 28 months.

This was agreed to by the BJP on the understanding that Soren will quit as chief minister by May 25 after which Munda will head the new coalition government. But, frustrated over JMM backtracking on its power-sharing deal in Jharkhand, the BJP on May 23 decided to withdraw support to the Shibu Soren government after which he quit as chief minister leading to the state coming under President's rule.

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