Updated: May 22, 2010 03:55 IST

Shibu Soren backtracks on deal, says he will not quit

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The Hindu

Jharkhand appears to be headed for another spell of political uncertainty with Chief Minister Shibu Soren refusing to resign and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) saying that the State has become the “theatre of the absurd.”

“I have formed the government for five years, and shall complete the tenure. Who will remove me,” Mr. Soren asked, while backtracking on his own announcement on May 18 that the BJP and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) would share power for 28 months each.

Mr. Soren, who had agreed to the arrangement, told journalists in Bokaro on Friday that there was no deadline for his resignation. “The question of a change of government comes if there is no development. But now development is going on.”

Jharkhand had plunged into a political crisis last month when Mr. Soren voted against the BJP's cut motion in the Lok Sabha.

Echoing resentment in the BJP top brass over the JMM's flip-flops, senior party leader M.M. Joshi told journalists in Delhi that the State “has become the theatre of the absurd. I would not like to say anything more on this.” Several members of the BJP Parliamentary Board, including L.K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, favoured withdrawal of support to the Soren government.

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