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Blunder in Jharkhand politics
BJP decided to withdraw its support from the JMM led government in the meeting of its parliamentary board on April 28. This decision has raised political heat and speculation in state politics.
SHIBU SOREN and Jharkhand are once again in news. The four-month-old coalition government of Bharatiya Janata Party-Jharkhand Mukti Morcha led by Shibu Soren as Chief Minister is about to break down, as BJP has decided to withdraw the support. The reason, Shibu Soren and his party MPs had voted in favour of United Progressive Alliance government on the cut motion, in Lok Sabha. Soren’s ally BJP wanted him to vote against the UPA government, the motion fell down in Lok Sabha.

However, later on, his son Hemant Soren apologised for his mistake, saying that it was a human error and tried to calm down the heat. Shibu Soren himself asked for apology in a letter addressed to Sushma Swaraj (BJP leader and leader of opposition in LS) that he is suffering from Alzheimer that is why he didn’t know what he was doing and he did this act by mistake. However, it seems that BJP was in no mood to take this episode in a light way. Therefore, all arguments of Soren were totally sidelined by BJP, because Shibu Soren voted twice for UPA. After first cut motion, when BJP MPs reminded him about his so-called mistake and asked him not to repeat it, in spite of this, he still voted against the second cut motion.

BJP decided to withdraw its support from the JMM led government in the meeting of its parliamentary board on April 28. This decision has raised many political speculations and statistic in Jharkhand state politics. In the 81-member house, BJP and JMM each have 18 members, AJSU (All Jharkhand student Union) have two and JDU have five members, these are the partners of present coalition government. Congress has 14 and their allies Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) have 11 members. Soren needs at least 41 members to secure his government.

After the declaration of support withdrawal by BJP, congress has given some signals about forming the government with JMM, as the party in-charge of Jharkhand state unit K Keshav Rao said, “There is no as such untouchable in politics and there is no end of relations in politics.” Congress Party is not against of forming the government with JMM. BJP itself though, refused Hemant Soren’s plea to review the decision of support withdrawal, postponed the meet with state governor thrice to entrust the letter of support withdrawal and finally cancelled that. Various rounds of meetings took place in last 48 hours. Soren met with top BJP leaders like Nitin Gadkari, Lal Krishna Adwani and Sushma Swaraj, to make a settlement. At the end of the day, Soren accepted his mistake, and agreed on BJPs terms as the CM chair for BJP and accepted BJPs leadership in government.

Obviously, it is a game of power; no one wants to stay out of power, neither Shibu Soren, nor BJP nor Congress. In December 2009, congress refused to form the government with JMM, because Soren was not ready to cooperate with centre to effectively tackle the Naxalite groups in state. However, now Congress was ready to form government with him, with the condition of Congress led government in state. BJP too don’t want to lose power, so finally agreed on a settlement.

Before reaching to a conclusion, let us know something about Shibu Soren. Popularly known as ‘Guruji’, Shibu Soren is a powerful tribal leader, who is immensely popular in Jharkhand. People see him as a son of soil, because he started his political or social life struggling against the moneylenders, which helped him to gain a strong ground among the tribal people. His popularity went down when his name exposed in the JMM bribery case of 1992. He was included thrice for Central Cabinet in 2004 and 2006, but was compelled to quit twice because he found guilty and sentenced for punishment by SC in two different cases. Nonetheless, Shibu Soren’s record in politics is been quite colourful, but still he and his party have a strong support among the people of Jharkhand, it is proved by this fact that it is his third tenure as the CM.

The whole episode is ended up now, but it has shown another face of opportunistic politics. Shibu Soren wanted an entrance in UPA, but at the same time, he needed BJP in Jharkhand to win the by-election, as he is not an MLA from the state. To maintain his CM’s chair he must have to win the by-election and to reach in state assembly. For the time being, the political drama is ended up, but the search for a stable and effective government in Jharkhand is not ended up yet.

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