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Wednesday 19 February 2020

Soren gets support of too many MLAs to depend on INC

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren now enjoys the support of JVM, NCP, CPI(ML) and Saryu Rai besides no bitterness with the BJP

After the recent political developments in Maharashtra where the INC and NCP formed the state government with Shiv Sena and in a somewhat distant past when Nitish Kumar ditched Lalu Prasad and their mahagathbandhan, Jharkhand may see an anti-climax where a pre-poll ally is no longer indispensable. MLAs more in number than the strength of the INC in the Vidhan Sabha have pledged their support to the government led by the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM). This enviable position of Chief Minister Hemant Soren is not likely to make JMM ally INC comfortable.

In the assembly election, the JMM achieved its best performance so far in the 19-year-old state by winning 30 seats while its allies INC won 16 and RJD won one. The total MLAs of these three parties is more than the magical figure of 41. Apart from this, three members of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) led by Babulal Marandi will support the government. The CPI(ML), NCP as well as independent Saryu Rai have come forward to support the Soren government too.

The government of Soren currently has the support of 53 MLAs. This situation is good for its stability as the INC has been infamous for dumping its coalition governments where it is not in the driving seat since the days of pressuring HD Deve Gowda to step down and pulling the rug beneath IK Gujral’s feet at the centre. The support of other parties and legislators will save the Soren government in case the INC tries to repeat its history. JMM strategists are working accordingly so that no pressure comes on the government even in adverse conditions.

The bad blood between leaders of rival parties during the election campaign in Jharkhand notwithstanding, the atmosphere seems to be changing after the result. Chief Minister Soren has withdrawn the complaint under the SC-ST Act against his predecessor Raghubar Das from the police station. Soren said that he would not take any action in malice or for vendetta.

Sources say rumblings have begun in the INC following this gesture by Soren, more so as the BJP and JMM have run governments together in the past.

Arithmetic making position of Soren enviable

JMM: 30
INC: 16
RJD: 1
JVM: 3
CPI(ML): 1
NCP: 1
Saryu Rai: 1

This implies the state government enjoys the support of 53 MLAs, out of which if 16 of the INC were to leave, 37 would remain, just four short of the majority mark.

The JMM is now making a strategy to not remain dependent on the INC. Other than keeping three other MLAs (AJSU 2, another independent 1) in good humour, The chief minister will open a channel of communication with the BJP so that it does not vote against his government, even if it does not support it, in the event of INC bringing in a no-confidence motion in the Legislative Assembly of Jharkhand in the future. In such a scenario, Soren can lead a minority government to complete his term of five years.

Amit Kumar
Amit Kumar
This consulting editor of Sirf News is a senior journalist with more than 20 years of experience in reporting and editing, has worked with Hindusthan Samachar (news agency), Mail Today, Hindustan Times, Mid-Day, etc

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