NATIONAL

BJP heaves a sigh of relief

NEW DELHI, MARCH 11. The Bharatiya Janata Party tonight heaved a sigh of relief after the resignation of the Jharkhand Chief Minister, Shibu Soren, following the Centre's directive.

Earlier in the day, the inability of the pro tem Speaker of the Jharkhand Assembly to get a floor test conducted in the House was described by the party as "unfortunate and undemocratic."

The party spokesperson, V.K. Malhotra, said "by hook or crook the Congress wants either its own government in Ranchi or no government at all. The Supreme Court must take notice of this when the matter comes up before it on March 14.''

As for filing a contempt petition against the pro tem Speaker, Mr. Malhotra said "we would have to see what can be done.''

The party's view, echoed by many leaders, was that the worst has already happened in Ranchi.

"We paraded our 41 MLAs in Jharkhand in front of the Governor: we paraded them before the President at Rashtrapati Bhavan and we paraded them in front of the media,'' the party's general secretary, Arun Jaitley, said. "Today they waited patiently for the trust vote in the Ranchi Assembly, but the entire UPA leadership conspired to ensure that the trial of strength did not take place as that Alliance did not have the numbers."