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MLA resignations accepted

Ranchi, March 26: Speaker Shashank Shekhar Bhokta today accepted the resignations of two former JMM MLAs Hemlal Murmu and Bidyut Baran Mahto who have joined BJP to contest elections from Rajmahal and Jamshedpur Lok Sabha seats respectively.

“Earlier, I had spoken to Murmu and Mahto and gave them three days time if they wished to reconsider their decision. Today, their resignations from the House have been accepted,” Bhokta said.

The Speaker has already accepted the resignation of former Congress MLA Chandra Shekhar Dubey who is now contesting as a TMC nominee from Dhanbad.

With their resignations, the eight-month-old JMM-led coalition government of Hemant Soren has “officially” lost support of three MLAs and the House strength reduced to 79.

The JMM-Congress-RJD government now enjoys the support of 40 MLAs: JMM 16, Congress 12, RJD 5, MCC 1, Independents 4 and TMC 2 (Bandhu Tirkey and Chamra Linda have pledged to continue supporting the government although the party itself has not formally made its stand clear).

The Opposition has 39 MLAs. Leaders in the Congress aren’t ruling out the possibility of the government falling after the elections are over in May, but the JMM seems to be confident that the government will complete its tenure despite the desertions it has suffered.

“Well we will make new friends. There are many like-minded MLAs and even parties who may not like a repetition of President’s Rule in Jharkhand. The election results in Jharkhand will change political equations,” said a senior JMM leader.

He even hinted that JMM could well begin negotiations with its former regional ally, Ajsu, to ensure the survival of the government.