Calling Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren’s action of voting with the government in Lok Sabha an “act of betrayal”, BJP today convened a parliamentary board meeting to discuss the future of ties with JMM in Jharkhand where the two parties run a coalition government.
Senior party leaders said that BJP has taken very serious note of Soren’s action and is not buying the explanation given by Mr. Soren’s son Hemant that it was a mistake, even as the Chief Minister wondered “what difference it (his vote) will make”.
“The voting in favour of UPA by Soren is an act of betrayal. The manner in which he has voted is a betrayal of coalition dharma. We have taken it very seriously. Senior party leaders will take a call on it,” senior BJP leader Prakash Javdekar said.
Another party leader Venkaiah Naidu echoed similar views saying “it’s a clear betrayal”.
“You can’t be heading a government with the support of BJP, be in opposition and at the same time, support the ruling party at the Centre. It is not acceptable. It is a serious issue,” he said.
Mr. Naidu also refused to buy the explanation given by Hemant Soren on the issue that his father voted for UPA by mistake.
Senior party leader from Jharkhand Yashwant Sinha said, “He (Soren) is there (on the Chief Minister’s chair) in Jharkhand with our support. Therefore, the least that was expected of him is that he would not go to this stage. He could have stayed neutral.”
Asked whether the BJP would take any action into the matter, Mr. Sinha said, “We will sit down and take stock of the situation.”
Mr. Sinha said Mr. Soren’s action showed “perhaps, he has some plans up his sleeve.”
Sources said that after Mr. Soren sprung a surprise yesterday by voting with the government on the cut motions moved by BJP and the Left, the BJP top brass was livid and held discussions with the JMM chief.
Mr. Soren had a meeting with BJP president Nitin Gadkari last night where his decision not to vote with the BJP came up for discussion.
Mr. Gadkari has called a meeting of the BJP parliamentary board, the highest decision making body of the party, to deliberate on the issue.
With Soren voting along with the UPA government, speculation is rife that he may have struck a deal with the Congress-led government. Sources said he may bargain for a berth in the Union Cabinet and make his son Hemant the deputy chief minister in Jharkhand.
Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik Chief Babulal Marandi may then become the Chief Minister in a coalition government of the Congress, JMM and JVN.
Mr. Hemant Soren insisted there was no move to form a government in Jharkhand with Congress backing.
In the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly, Congress has 14 MLAs, JMM has 18 and JVM(P) has 11 MLAs.