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Calm before storm in power corridors

Ranchi, Jan. 5: An eerie silence prevailed in the power corridors of the state today, a day before JMM is expected to take a final call on whether to continue its alliance with BJP, after its leader and chief minister Arjun Munda categorically denied striking any 28 month power sharing deal while forming the coalition government.

JMM’s 11-member core committee and executive body comprising 75 partymen will hold meetings tomorrow where a final decision is expected to be taken. Former chief minister and chairman of state coordination committee Shibu Soren would preside over the meetings at his Morabadi residence.

While there was virtually no activity either from the JMM or BJP side, Congress, which has been trying to project that it is in no way involved in the ongoing political drama, today hinted it may try to profit from the political turbulence in the state.

“No one wants mid-term polls in the state. JMM has the numbers to form the next government in the state while I can assure there will be no President’s rule in the state again,” senior Congress leader Rajendra Prasad Singh asserted.

However, Congress is learnt to have adopted a wait and watch policy and is expected to act only if and when the JMM and BJP officially snap their two year and four months-old ties.

Chief minister Arjun Munda today did not go to Project Building, the state government secretariat, and remained at his Kanke Road official residence, a close aide said.

Meanwhile, JMM MLA from Sarath, Shashank Shekhar Bhokta today met deputy chief minister Sudesh Kumar Mahto of Ajsu, the third important ally in the Munda government. What transpired between them was not officially known, but political grapevines maintained Bhokta must have sent some feelers from JMM to the Ajsu chief. Ajsu has six MLAs in the Jharkhand Assembly and past experiences suggests it would be comfortably placed in any of the political alliances.

Mahto himself is avoiding any media query and is expected to go to Tamar for the foundation stone laying and inauguration of different developmental projects tomorrow. However, he did attend a meeting of Sports Authority of Jharkhand today to take some organisation related decisions.

Cutting across party lines, MLAs maintained that they did not want any mid-term polls in the state, which could become necessary if JMM pulls off from BJP and fails to forge a new alliance with Congress. While Congress has only 13 MLAs, JMM and BJP have 18 each. Ajsu has six, RJD five, JD (U) two and a good number of Independents. Forty two is the magic figure in the 81-seat Assembly.


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