Rajya Sabha approves Prez Rule in Jharkhand

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New Delhi, Feb 27: The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday approved the proclamation of President's Rule in Jharkhand with Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde saying the Centre had no other choice as the crisis couldn't be resolved last month. The decision came amid the BJP's demand to dissolve the state assembly and hold fresh elections.

The Centre had imposed President's Rule in the state keeping its assembly in suspended animation after the then chief minister, Arjun Munda, had resigned after his government was reduced to a minority as a result of withdrawal of support by the Sibu Soren-led Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM). The state was brought under President's Rule on January 18 and it was the third such instance since the state was formed in 2000.

Replying to allegations that the Centre could have tried to destabilise the BJP-led state, Shinde asked: "Did we go to the JMM and ask them to withdraw its support to pull down the government?" He said this during a debate in the Upper House on the same matter.

The home minister cited the example of UPA II government being run by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and said it was difficult to run coalition governments. He said one needed to have the will to run a coalition government and it was not desirable that small states suffered because of this.

Shinde added that in the past, Presidents' Rule had been imposed in Jharkhand within a gap of just three months. He said the BJP could again stake claim to form its government in the state.

Earlier, BJP member Jaiprakash Narayan Singh had initiated the debate and asked the Centre to accept the recommendation made by Munda to dissolve the Jharkhand assembly and hold fresh elections. He also accused the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal of backing former chief minister Madhu Koda and also indulging in the Rs 6,000 crore looting in the state.

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