BJP does a U-turn on Soren

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday said that its decision to withdraw support to the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) government in Jharkhand was on hold for the moment.

The BJP would hold talks with alliance partners the JMM, Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) as well as the BJP state unit and take a "further decision, BJP general secretary Ananth Kumar said in a press conference in the capital.

"The BJP had its parliamentary board meeting under the leadership of (party president) Nitin Gadkari and has decided to withhold its decision to withdraw its support to the present government in Jharkhand,"

The parliamentary board, he said, received two letters from the JMM leadership, one from JMM chief and Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren and the other from his son Hemant Soren after the BJP announced withdrawal of support.

"We received two letters from the leadership of JMM. One was from Shibu Soren in which he appealed that in the interest of the poorer sections of the society of Jharkhand, the state should not be pushed to Congress misrule and the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) government should stay," Ananth Kumar said.

"On April 29, we received another letter from Hemant Soren which said that after considering the political happenings of the past two days, the JMM has decided and is ready to form a government headed by the BJP.

"Taking cognisance of both these letters, the BJP parliamentary board has decided to have talks with the allied parties in the state – the JMM, Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) as well as the BJP state unit and take a further decision," he added.

Relations between the BJP and the JMM soured after Shibu Soren, who has not given up his Lok Sabha membership, voted in favour of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) during the cut motions moved by the BJP.

The BJP announced it would withdraw support to the Soren government Thursday, but kept deferring its meeting with Governor M.O.H. Farook.(IANS)

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