Jharkhand: President’s rule but Assembly not dissolved

Jharkhand on Monday was placed under the President’s rule,ending political uncertainty in the state a week after Chief Minister Shibu Soren resigned following his defeat in the Tamar Assembly bypoll...

Written by Press Trust Of India | Ranchi | Published: January 20, 2009 11:42 pm

Jharkhand on Monday was placed under the President’s rule,ending political uncertainty in the state a week after Chief Minister Shibu Soren resigned following his defeat in the Tamar Assembly bypoll.

Governor Syed Sibtey Razi,in his report to the President last Friday,had said no constituent of the ruling UPA was staking claim to form a government in the state. Proclamation of the President’s rule was notified on Monday afternoon after the Union Cabinet,at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,considered the Governor’s report on the situation in the state and decided to impose Central rule and keep its 81-member Assembly,which has its term until March next year,under suspended animation.

The Opposition NDA,comprising BJP,JD(U) and the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha of former chief minister Babulal Marandi,wants the Assembly dissolved and fresh elections along with those for the Lok Sabha. Even the Left parties — CPI,CPI(M) and CPI(M-L) — who called a state bandh on Monday have the same demand.

The UPA is a divided lot in the state. The RJD and Independent MLAs Stephen Marandi and Bhanu Pratap Sahi,who were deputy chief minister and minister in the Soren government,are blaming the JMM leader for imposition of the President’s rule.

Soren,meanwhile,has told JMM MLAs and MPs to go to their constituencies and prepare for polls. “We will see what happens now,” he was quoted as having said.

The Soren government took charge on August 27 last year after predecessor Madhu Koda was forced to resign. However,Koda,who had been eyeing a return to office with the backing of RJD chief Lalu Prasad,has not given up. “Even now,a government can be formed provided Guruji (Soren) holds discussion with UPA leaders,” he said.

Throwing his hat in the ring for the top post,Koda said “I am ready to lead UPA in the state even this time. Being an Independent MLA,I ran the coalition government in Jharkhand for 23 months,when people used to say my government will not last even a month”. “Yes,I will get all the required support from them. Laluji supports my candidature and Congress will also agree,” he added.

BJP leader and former chief minister Arjun Munda said “by not dissolving the Assembly,the Congress wants to keep open the option of forming a government with JMM,RJD and Independents… this is nothing but a design to hoodwink people ahead of general elections”.

Key UPA ally RJD,too,feels an alternative government can still be formed. “If any party has adequate numbers,a government can still be formed in Jharkhand. We opted for President’s rule as there was no consensus among UPA allies on forming an alternative government right now,” RJD supremo Lalu Prasad told reporters in New Delhi.

On whether fresh elections should be held in Jharkhand,Lalu said “President’s rule is not a solution”.

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