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Finally an agreement in Jharkand, after 3 weeks of turmoil about who will be the Chief Minister




Who would have thought that Shibu Soren could have caused such a huge amount of political turmoil, and plunged the politics of Jharkand into a minefield where everything seemed to be have become unsettled. Shibu Soren was the Chief Minister of Jharkand, as a part of a coalition where the BJP supported the JMM in a coalition (and the BJP had agreed to let Shibu Soren be the Chief Minister). However, Soren is also a Lok Sabha member (and did not yet get elected to the state as a MLA); so he was eligible to vote for the no-confidence motion against Congress / UPA in Parliament. To the shock of the BJP, Shibu Soren voted for the Congress. Visibly angry, the party decided to pull out of the coalition and send a note to the Governor that they would no longer support the JMM. At the same time, given how Shibu Soren does not have a very clean reputation, the Congress and the party of Babulal Marandi do not want to tie hands with the JMM and any talks between the JMM and these parties must have foundered. So within a few hours of this decision by the BJP, the JMM decide to make a peace offer, where Shibu Soren blamed his health for touching the wrong button, and his son Hemant offered a formula whereby there would be a switch and the BJP could decide the Chief Minister.

This set the BJP on the path of reconsidering its decision, and since it had never actually given any letter to the Governor, it could very well go any which way. And then there was the tricky question of whom to nominate as the Chief Minister candidate; in the state of Jharkand, there is an expectation that nominating a tribal is the politically correct thing to do, which is Arjun Munda’s selling point. The other challengers such as Yashwant Sinha did not seem to have got the adequate amount of support from the MLA’s and were also not MLA’s themselves, but this entire process took a couple of weeks.
In the interim period, the JMM must have done some introspection and decided that they did not regret the action of Shibu Soren to that extent, and they shocked the BJP by backtracking on offering the Chief Ministership on an open platter. Instead, the revised offer read as the following – there are 56 months left, so the Chief Ministership would be rotated with the first 28 months being with the BJP and the next 28 months being with the JMM, and the portfolios also being split among these parties (and also with the JD(U), a smaller supporting partner). The BJP was initially shocked but realized that this demand is fairly genuine and eventually have accepted this demand. This whole period however took around 3 weeks of uncertainty (link to article).

BJP had announced its decision to withdraw support to the Shibu Soren government on April 28 after the JMM chief voted against the BJP-sponsored cut-motions in the Lok Sabha. However, after Soren’s son Hemant made an offer to BJP to head the government in the state, the BJP revoked its decision but a tussle ensued on the power-sharing formula.
On May 8, the BJP announced that it would head a new coalition for the remainder of the tenure with support from alliance partners JMM and AJSU. The same evening Soren said the new government would be on a rotational basis, causing a stalemate.




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