Jharkhand crisis: Babulal Marandi wants fresh election

Arjun Munda
Dhanbad, Jan 8: Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) or JVM-P chief Babulal Marandi said on Monday that his party would not support either a JMM or BJP-led government and also maintain a distance with the Congress, with which it had forged an alliance during the 2009 assembly polls. According to him, mid-term election was the only alternative left for the state.

Marandi said the Arjun Munda government was formed on trade and money considerations and the life of the government was ensured to be short-lived from the very beginning.

With Marandi insisting on dissolution of the assembly and holding midterm elections, there is little scope of an alternative government in Jharkhand.

The state is witnessing a crisis after the Shibu Soren-led JMM withdrew its support from the BJP government. Marandi alleged that the JMM was willing to back Munda to continue for the rest of the term if the former was given cash worth Rs 100 crore and portfolios like home, mines, power, irrigation, public works and rural development.

Marandi said the JMM pulled out of the government after it failed to reach any agreement with the BJP even after a month-long negotiation.

Just prior to Soren's decision to withdraw support, Marandi told reporters at Kandra near Sindri that the Governor should dismiss the Munda government and ask parties to go to polls. He slammed the BJP, saying if the national party had any shame, it should refrain from indulging in deals with the JMM and the chief minister should resign immediately.

The Congress, which is in the opposition, however, hoped that elections could be avoided. Leader of opposition in the assembly, Rajendra Prasad Singh, said they were waiting for the JMM's withdrawing support and backed Soren in the past. He said Soren had helped Congress at the Centre in the past and hence they would like to reciprocate.

The JMM-Congress alliance can form an alternative government in the state with the backing of the RJD, All Jharkhand Students' Union and two Independents, although that government will have a wafer-thin majority. Congress sources said state president Pradip Balmuchu met Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on Monday and briefed her about the latest political situation in the state.

All India Congress Committee general secretary Shakil Ahmed, who is in charge of Jharkhand, was expected to reach Jharkhand on Tuesday.

Some young Congress leaders, however, wanted fresh elections. They were in favour of imposition of President's rule during which the party would work on development in the state with central funds. They felt such an initiative would help the party reap dividends during the elections.

OneIndia News

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