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Cong-JMM sparring tickles BJP

- This government will fall on its own, predicts Ravindra Rai

Ranchi, May 5: The Opposition BJP is reluctant to join any move to topple the Hemant Soren government at this juncture, even as ally Congress is mounting pressure on the JMM in view of the Assembly elections that are barely six months away.

At yesterday’s extended working committee meeting of the Congress, there were enough hints about the party’s intention to fight the coming Assembly elections alone, putting the JMM in a spot.

Senior Congress leader and state power minister Rajendra Prasad Singh added fuel to the fire when he allegedly said that he, too, wasn’t in favour of the JMM-led government continuing.

Though the minister backtracked later, blaming the media for misinterpretation, the JMM leadership took strong offence to the Congress’s posturing.

Today, Singh claimed his statement was misunderstood and that a formal decision on withdrawing support to the coalition government could only be taken by the Congress high command.

“A section of the media yesterday pointed out that majority of state Congress leaders did not like to continue support to the present government. At this, I said that I would always honour the majority verdict,” Singh clarified while talking to The Telegraph.

The JMM, nonetheless, said such public statements, especially by a senior politician like Singh, were detrimental to the stability of the alliance.

“The Lok Sabha elections in Jharkhand are over and all of us are now free to work out strategies for the coming Vidhan Sabha elections. The Congress played a crucial role in preparing the budget for this fiscal. But we could not use budgetary allocations after the model code came into force. Common people cannot be taken for granted anymore. They will ask all of us what we did for them when we were in power,” said JMM central committee member Supriyo Bhattacharya.

The bickering between the two allies has made things easy for the BJP, which has now adopted a wait-and-watch policy.

“In any case, Assembly elections are likely to be held soon. If the Congress withdraws support now, the state will again come under President’s Rule,” said a senior BJP leader.

He added that the party would like to wait for the Lok Sabha results, as the fate of as many as 10 MLAs were at stake. “If they win, it will change the composition of the Assembly and the government may fall,” he pointed out.

State BJP president Ravindra Rai slammed the Congress for playing politics of opportunism. “The Congress should accept its own failures and apologise to the people. This government will fall on its own. We need not make any special effort,” he added.


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