BJP, Congress seek time for government formation in Jharkhand

Ranchi, May 31 (IANS) Jharkhand Governor M.O.H. Farook Monday summoned leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress to discuss the formation of an alternative government in the state, a day after Shibu Soren quit as chief minister.

‘The governor called us Monday to know our party’s stand on the formation of an alternative government in the state. We have sought time as the issue will be decided by the central leaders,’ state BJP president Raghubar Das told IANS.

A Congress delegation met Farook immediately after the BJP meeting with the governor.

‘We are not in a hurry to form a government. We will form an alterative government only after ensuring the stability factor,’ state Congress president Pradeep Balmuchu told reporters.

Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) president Babulal Marandi also met the governor.

Soren, who heads the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), met the governor and submitted his resignation Sunday evening, a day before he was to prove his majority in the 81-member state assembly. Sources said that eight of the JMM’s 18 legislators refused to face the trust vote Monday.

The JMM-led five-month-old government was propped up by the BJP with 18 members, the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) with five legislators and the Janata Dal-United’s two members.

The Congress has 14 members, the JVM-P 11, and the Rashtriya Janata Dal five legislators. There also are five independents.

The JMM-led government was reduced to minority after the party’s ally, BJP, finally withdrew support May 24.

After its talks with the BJP collapsed on the issue of sharing power by rotation of 28 months each, the JMM had been in talks with both the Congress and the JVM-P to form an alternative government and avoid President’s Rule in the state.

But with the Congress and its ally JVM-P failing to commit support to the JMM, Soren found no option but to resign.

Jharkhand was plunged into political uncertainty after Soren voted against the BJP’s cut motions on the federal budgetary cuts in Lok Sabha last month.