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Jan 07, 2013 at 07:18pm IST

Jharkhand: JMM withdraws support from BJP-led Arjun Munda government

Ranchi: Jharkhand has been plunged into yet another political crisis with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) withdrawing support from asked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in the state. JMM chief Shibu Soren withdrew the support after the BJP refused to remove Arjun Munda as Jharkhand Chief Minister.

The decision to pull out was taken after a meeting of JMM leaders at Ranchi on Monday even though Arjun Munda personally came and met Shibu Soren and his son Hemant at their residence. Shibu Soren had been asking Munda to hand over power to someone else within the BJP if he wanted the JMM's support.

However, it was not an unanimous decision with some MLAs questioning the decision to withdraw support. At a meeting at Soren's residence in Ranchi to finalise the party's strategy on Sunday six of the 18 JMM MLAs pointed out that the patry would not gain much from pulling out of the alliance.

Earlier, Soren had threatened the BJP that his party would walk out of the alliance if the chief minister's post was not handed over to the JMM as a part of the deal under which the two parties had agreed to share it for 28 months each. But the BJP maintained that no such agreement was worked out between the two parties and stood firmly behind Munda, whose 28-month tenure ends on January 10.

Both the BJP and JMM have 18 MLAs each in the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly and after Soren's decision the Munda government is in minority.

Munda had on January 3 said he had in writing rejected JMM's claim that there was a power sharing deal between the two parties and that the latter has to take a decision keeping stability of the government in mind. "The issue (power sharing deal) which they (JMM) have raised had not been placed (during formation of government," Munda said in Ranchi without naming Jharkhand Mukti Morcha.

"I have given point-wise replies to the issues raised through a letter by the ally (JMM) and given to me by the party's legislature leader (Hemant Soren). And I believe they will discuss on it, keeping the coalition's effort in providing a stable government for the last two years and will continue in the future too," he said and expected that the coalition parties would keep Jharkhand's interest in mind while taking a decision on his reply.

Soren had on December 25 submitted to the chief minister a list of certain issues, including clearing Munda's stand on the purported rotational power sharing for 28 months each. Asked whether state's image was tarnished by political instability, Munda said any decision on the future of the alliance should be taken keeping Jharkhand's image in mind.

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