The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday staked claim to form a government in Jharkhand under the former Chief Minister, Arjun Munda. In Ranchi, party leaders presented to Governor M.O.H. Farook a list of 45 MLAs ready to give unconditional support to the new government.

PTI, quoting sources in the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi, said the Governor had sent a report to the Union government asking for the revocation of President's rule.

BJP president Nitin Gadkari — now in Moscow — virtually ordered legislature party leader Raghuvar Das to make way for Mr. Munda and Mr. Munda was elected the leader of the legislature party at a meeting on Tuesday. Following this, party leaders went to see Mr. Farook to give him the list and letters of support from the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), the Janata Dal (United), the All Jharkhand Students' Union and Independents.

Besides 18 BJP MLAs, Mr. Munda claims the support of 18 JMM legislators, 5 of the AJSU, 2 from the JD(U) and 2 Independents. The total strength of the Assembly is 82 and there is one vacancy.

Earlier this summer, the BJP was not able to pull off the Jharkhand gambit partly because of contrary pulls and pressures from within its top leadership and serious differences within the JMM leadership, including contradictory views expressed publicly by the then Chief Minister, Shibu Soren, and his son Hemant Soren.

The political uncertainty in the State began with the BJP deciding to withdraw support to the Shibu Soren-led government after Mr. Soren voted against — and with the Central government — on cut motions brought by the BJP at the time of passing of the Finance Bill.

Subsequently, the BJP and the JMM held prolonged talks. But they broke down with JMM leaders speaking in different voices. Mr. Soren resigned on May 30 ahead of a trust vote and the State came under President's rule on June 1.