NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party's Jharkhand crisis seems drawing to a close with the party firming up support from the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and others to head a new government that it expects to be sworn in next week.
The BJP has made it clear that its government will complete the remaining tenure of over four-and-a-half years. There will be no rotation of Chief Ministers as suggested by the JMM.
Apparently, the fear of President's Rule if the BJP were to carry out its threat of withdrawing support made the JMM decide in favour of a BJP-led government. In any case, a crisis would have come in less than two months with time running out for Shibu Soren, the incumbent who would have had to meet the mandatory requirement of getting elected to the Assembly within six months of becoming Chief Minister. At that time too, the BJP could have refused to support a government led by the Chief Minister's son and Legislature Party leader Hemant Soren.
Now the BJP Parliamentary Board is expected to meet on Monday to finalise its chief ministerial candidate. A week ago, the former Chief Minister, Arjun Munda, was considered the top favourite. Hazaribagh MP and senior leader Yashwant Sinha and BJP Legislature Party leader Raghuvar Das were also in the reckoning.
The party announced its intention of working out a common minimum programme for governance with its alliance partners.
Saturday's development suggests that the BJP may settle for a Chief Minister “from among the MLAs,” as one leader said. If this principle is applied, Mr. Das may emerge as the man for the top job. There is a view that selecting an MP will mean getting him elected to the Assembly and also the party facing a Lok Sabha by-election. Mr. Sinha, it is felt, is too senior a leader and should not be sent as Chief Minister to a State where the ruling coalition would remain unstable.
Differences erupted between the two main coalition partners — the BJP and the JMM — after Shibu Soren voted against the Opposition-sponsored cut motion in the Lok Sabha.