The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) have agreed to share power in rotation for 28 months each, the Jharkhand Chief Minister, Mr Shibu Soren, said on Tuesday. The former chief minister, Mr Arjun Munda, is likely to head the BJP-led government.
"We have agreed to share power in rotation. The BJP and JMM will each rule the state for 28 months," the JMM chief said at a joint press conference with BJP national generalsecretary Mr Munda. Asked who would lead the government first, Soren said: At present I am the chief minister." He, however, did not clarify when he would step down. Mr Munda added: "The BJP will run the government for the next 28 months and then power will be transferred to the JMM." The transfer of power is likely to take place next week.
The JMM, it is learnt, acquiesced to giving up power after former BJP president, Mr Rajnath Singh, conveyed to Mr Soren that the party would be forced to withdraw support. According to BJP sources, JMM was asked to take a decision on Tuesday or the BJP would withdraw support on Wednesday. The final announcement followed a day of hectic developments with Mr Munda going to the party office and then to Soren’s residence. He was later joined by state BJP president and deputy chief minister, Mr Raghubar Das, as well as Jharkhand BJP in charge, Mr Karuna Shukla. Also present were Soren’s son, Mr Hemant Soren, and senior JMM leaders. According to sources, JMM demanded at least six minister posts as well as the speaker’s post. The BJP is learnt to have agreed to five minister posts and the post of deputy speaker. Jharkhand has been in the midst of a political crisis since Soren’s decision to vote against the BJP’s cut motions in the Lok Sabha. That led the BJP, a junior partner in the ruling coalition, to withdraw legislative support to the ruling JMM.