Arjun Munda and wife Meera at the prize distribution of EMTA Cup Green City Golf Tournament in Ranchi on Sunday. (Hardeep Singh)
Ranchi, Jan. 13: It was a quiet Sunday in Jharkhand as leaders of all affiliations took a break from the hectic politicking that kept the state on the boil all of last week amid indications that a new government was not going to be installed any time soon.
Yesterday, Governor Syed Ahmed wrote to the Centre, recommending President’s Rule and keeping the Assembly in suspended animation. The Union cabinet’s reaction is awaited.
Raj Bhavan public relations officer Shyamanand Jha confirmed no political delegation met the governor today. The only engagement the governor attended was a prize distribution ceremony for a rose show in the evening at Raj Bhavan itself.
A reason for the sudden lull could be the fact that the inauspicious kharmas ends tomorrow and politicians would have realised that today would probably be the last chance they would get to take a break before getting back into action to put a new government in place. According to Hindu mythology, taking up important work ought to be avoided during kharmas.
RJD state president Girinath Singh, however, maintained that his party president Lalu Prasad Yadav did have concrete talks with the Congress heavyweights in Delhi over the formation of an alternative government in Jharkhand. “We want a common minimum programme and other necessary terms and conditions be finalised before forming a new coalition government. The Congress seems to be convinced about these issues,” he said.
Congress legislative party leader Rajendra Prasad Singh also maintained that the formation of an alternative government was likely, but the modalities would be finalised by the party high command, which is taking time.
“We are now in Chatra. Our district president Shankar Prasad Sahu was shot dead last evening. Several MLAs and party workers are accompanying me. We have come here to take stock of the situation and console the aggrieved families,” Singh added.
With modalities and a new common minimum programme taking time, the desperate JMM has no other choice but wait.
“Forming a government is easy. But, if the interest of each coalition partner and its aspiration are not chalked out at the start, the government would not last long. So we are taking time to discuss each and every point, particularly the interest of partners and a concrete common minimum programme,” said JMM executive body member Supriya Bhattacharya with new-found wisdom.
Politicians feel that the entire work of sorting out the interests of coalition partners and chalking out a common minimum programme will take between 25-30 days.
“We don’t want the coalition be made just to form the government and enjoy power. Parties want to fix responsibility of each partner. We also want a solid common minimum programme be thrashed out which will prove to be the cementing factor for the new government,” said Mandar legislator Bandhu Tirkey, who happens to be close to both Congress and JMM camps.