Eight days after Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda of the BJP resigned after losing the support of coalition-partner Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), political uncertainty in the state continued about when President’s Rule may be declared in the state.
Governor Syed Ahmed had sent a second report recommending President’s Rule to the Home Ministry on Saturday after JMM, Congress, Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD), Left parties MLAs met him that afternoon. Deputy Chief Minister in Mr Munda’s government JMM leader Hemant Soren later said that he was confident of being able to form the government and that his party had asked for more time from the Governor. The Governor later invited All Jharkhand Students’ Union (AJSU) MLAs to make their stand clear on the issue too before he sent the report late Saturday night.
“Our party thinks as the political party with the highest numbers of MLAs in the Assembly, it is our responsibility to form the government and that is why we are open to talking to all political parties, that is why Congress, RJD went to meet the Governor after we did,” said JMM Core Committee member Binod Pandey. The party has 18 MLAs, the same as BJP. Congress has 13. “We are confident that we will get the support a of 43 MLAs including RJD(5), and seven Independent,” he said.
Political analysts say that Congress leadership is in a dilemma since it cannot risk alienating its members over distribution of tickets if fresh elections are declared. At the same time it may have to consider the reaction of UPA’s coalition partners, for instance Sharad Yadav of Janta Dal, at the centre if it decides to ally with JMM in Jharkhand.
“JMM is Congress’ natural ally in Jharkhand. Both parties have done better by cooperating in 2005, over the cut motion in the parliament in 2009. A formal decision about the question of allying with JMM may be taken in our party’s Chintin Shivir at Jaipur on 18 January” said senior Congress leader and MP Subodh Kant Sahai. “We are open to allying with JMM even for 2014 Assembly elections,” he added.
President’s Rule has been imposed twice before in Jharkhand – in 2009 and 2010 -since the state was formed in 2000. “The political parties of the state have no stability in their alliances, no commitment to the promises they make to their electorates. How will they create any political stability for the people of Jharkhand?” said Jharkhand Vikas Morcha- Prajatantrik (JVM-P) leader and the first CM of the state Babulal Marandi. On Tuesday JVM-P members sat on a dharna in all 24 districts centres demanding fresh elections be held in the state. “We will ask for a meeting with the President if our demands are not heard at the centre,” he said.
“We expect that the centre may declare President’s Rule by Thursday if the Cabinet meets as scheduled,” said a political leader.