Differences in BJP over Munda govt

Differences have surfaced in the BJP over Arjun Munda-led Jharkhand government. While the top leadership, ranging from L.K. Advani, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, is expected to skip the swearing-in ceremony, former party chief, Rajnath Singh would be present for the occasion. It may be recalled, Mr Singh has always been regarded to be in the rival faction. Even party chief Nitin Gadkari is unlikely to attend the swearing-in ceremony taking place on Saturday.

Sources said Mr Advani was not in favour of the BJP forming a coalition government with the JMM after its chief Shibu Soren voted against the BJP-led cut motion in Parliament. This led to the BJP pulling out support from the JMM, which was running the government with BJP support. President’s Rule was imposed in Jharkhand on June 1 after the BJP withdrew support. Also, Mr Advani favoured senior leader Yashwant Sinha over Arjun Munda for the top post. Sources disclosed Mr Advani was kept out of the loop when Mr Munda initiated talks with the JMM on Mr Gadkari’s insistence.
Sources said most of the central leadership wants to skip the ceremony as they are not sure for how long the coalition government would continue.
“The last experience with the JMM was embarrassing. No one is sure as to how long this partnership will continue, so, most of the leaders want to skip the ceremony,” said a senior party functionary. Another functionary said with Ganesh Chaturthi falling on Saturday, considered one of the most important festivals in Maharashtra, Mr Gadkari is likely to be in Nagpur.

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