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Cong ready for solo ride

- JMM govt on shaky ground

Ranchi, May 4: Ally Congress may have put a question mark on the future of the not-yet 10-month-old Hemant Soren-led coalition government today at its first extended working committee meeting after the Jharkhand leg of Lok Sabha polls.

Around 90 members of the 112-strong committee discussed the party’s strategy for the Assembly polls — to be held at the end of this year — during the six-hour-long meeting.

“Majority of our members don’t want an alliance with the JMM for the Assembly polls. It is a general feeling and a resolution has been passed in this regard. I will visit Delhi in a couple of days to brief party seniors,” state party chief Sukhdeo Bhagat Bhagat said after the meeting.

Apparently, most committee members have also urged the central leadership to take a fresh look at the JMM-Congress-RJD alliance.

Asked if the party would continue its support to the government, Bhagat said there had been no discussion on the matter, but dropped broad hints that party leaders did not consider the JMM’s friendship politically profitable anymore.

Sources present during the meeting, while not coming on record, said the Congress alliance with the JMM and continuing support to the government remained the main subject of debate.

“The Congress is supporting the government, but if it falls we won’t take steps to save it,” a senior Congressman said.

He claimed his party bore the brunt for the government’s failure to implement development projects.

“The JMM did not adhere to the common minimum programme agreed upon at the time of government formation. The government deliberately delayed implementation of the Right to Food Act in Jharkhand, which the Congress wanted to showcase as its achievement,” said another.

Though it will be premature to write an obituary of the Congress-backed Hemant government, the national party’s stance has left the JMM leaders worried.

“Such statements are unfortunate at this moment. It will only weaken the UPA in Jharkhand. Partners should sit together to discuss how to implement pending projects. In a short time, the Hemant government has performed very well,” said senior JMM leader Binod Pandey.