Ranchi, Sept. 12: To cobble unity among sulking coalition partners, chief minister Hemant Soren today convened a co-ordination meeting at Project Building in the capital.
The huddle started over an hour late, instead of the scheduled 6.30pm, and was continuing till the filing of this report.
Besides chiefs of JMM, Congress and RJD, Independents supporting the government and ministers were invited for “to forge better communication and co-ordination”, the CMO explained.
Sources said Congress chief Sukhdeo Bhagat expressed concern over “controversial statements” coming from the JMM camp and wished the party — a key UPA ally — had broader outlook.
He pointed out that the government had not acted on any major programme included in the CMP released on July 29.
“This government does not seem to be working. Mind it, we have less time to act and perform, which will be the basis on which the UPA will be able to reclaim Jharkhand in the coming elections,” the Congress veteran said.
Hemant is learnt to have said that the government was left non-functional for 42 days because the Congress took much time in naming its ministers.
In the past fortnight, JMM leaders and the chief minister had taken diametrically opposed views over land acquisition and food security bills calling these detrimental to the interest of the poor in the tribal heartland.
JMM’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjeev Kumar punched holes during a debate in Parliament and Hemant took the lead thereafter. He told the media that his government would formulate a separate land acquisition policy.
All this frayed the temper of Congress bosses who suspected that the JMM was trying to distance itself from the UPA’s orchestrated political line at a time when the Congress leadership planned to turn land acquisition and food security into poll planks. “As a chief minister, he should desist from making controversial statements and show maturity,” Bhagat had said.
Alliance partners today agreed that the government lacking co-ordination. “Jab samanvayan ki kami hai tab toh yah meeting bulayi (this meeting has been called because there are differences),” state RJD state president Girinath Singh.
Political observers say the UPA’s electoral fate in Jharkhand largely depends on the performance of the Hemant government, which arguably isn’t doing too well so far.