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Hemant running out of ideas

Ranchi, Feb. 7: Hemant Soren, former deputy chief minister and JMM’s heir-apparent, is faced with a serious crisis as partymen are getting restless and want him to come out with a political plan in the wake of President’s Rule in Jharkhand.

Hemant’s chief ministerial ambition has already been forestalled in the wake of the Congress leadership spurning his proposal to form an alternative government in the state after the JMM withdrew support from the Arjun Munda- led coalition.

As of now, the prospects of forming an alternative dispensation look bleak even though he accompanied party chief Shibu Soren to Delhi last month and spent a couple of days there trying to convince senior Congress leaders. Ultimately, the father-son duo returned, but only with half-hearted assurances that their plea would be looked at afresh after the Union Budget was placed in Parliament.

So far, Hemant has managed to keep his flock together with no one speaking out against him openly. But privately, many have started questioning his leadership abilities.

“It’s one thing to be the son of the party chief and another thing to project political maturity,” said a senior JMM MLA. “He (Hemant) pulled out of the coalition without proper homework, blindly believing state Congress leaders who convinced him about their party’s support. He seems to have no clear vision about the future.”

Party MLA Vidyut Baran Mahto refused to talk about Hemant’s political acumen, but agreed that many within the party weren’t quite sure about him.

But Hemant is trying to reassert himself in his own way. Recently, he addressed two well-attended JMM rallies in Dumka and Dhanbad where he appealed to the Congress once again to help the party form a government.

However, insiders feel that the JMM’s indecisiveness will rob the party of political space in future.

“These rallies were successful. We have waited for a month to know the response of like-minded forces on government formation. Now, we should take a decision,” party MLA Shashank Sekhar Bhokta said.

Hemant, those close to him say, still harbours hopes of being able to persuade the Congress. He believes that for the Congress, the JMM is the only party it can choose as an ally to fight the 2014 parliamentary and Assembly elections. But, senior JMM leaders like Hemlal Murmu contest this position. “Only Hemantji can explain his silence,” he said.

nMunda takes dig at JMM, Page 4