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MP Gilua boost to Hemant govt

- Numbers now favour ruling coalition

Ranchi, May 27: Laxman Gilua’s inclusion into the ranks of BJP MPs has come as a welcome relief to the Hemant Soren government in Jharkhand.

Gilua, a BJP MLA from Chakradharpur, won the Singhbhum Lok Sabha seat. According to norms, as a newly elect MP, he will have to resign from the Assembly by May 31, reducing the strength of Opposition benches by one.

Once Gilua resigns, the Assembly strength will slip down to 78, with 40 sitting MLAs supporting Hemant and rest 38, including two JD(U) MLAs, in Opposition.

Hemant has adequate time and space in hand to save his government, if need be.

“The Hemant Soren government enjoys majority support. Laxman Gilua has not yet quit his Assembly membership. But rules say a sitting MLA elected to Lok Sabha will have to resign from the Assembly within 14 days of notification of a new Lok Sabha. The formation of the 16th Lok Sabha was notified on May 18,” said Assembly Speaker Shashank Shekhar Bhokta.

Ten sitting MLAs — six supporting the government and four from Opposition — contested the just ended Lok Sabha elections. Of them, only Gilua of BJP won the Singhbhum Lok Sabha seat. Though Bidyut Baran Mahto had been a JMM MLA, he had resigned from the party and Assembly before joining the BJP and contesting Jamshedpur seat, which he ultimately won.

A cautiously confident Hemant government will talk to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the state’s long-standing demands such as market value-based royalty on minerals, due share in central taxes, shifting of headquarters of CIL, DVC and SAIL to Jharkhand, among others.

Sukhdeo Bhagat, state Congress chief, added: “BJP heavyweights during poll campaigns advocated Jharkhand be granted special state status. They should keep their word.”

In the BJP camp, the focus is on winning a majority in the Assembly. The party sees no need to disturb the Hemant government at this juncture.

“Toppling a state government is no big deal. But, bringing about political stability for Jharkhand’s growth is a great challenge,” said Arjun Munda, former chief minister, BJP strategist and leader of Opposition in the state Assembly.

“Jharkhand has great expectations from the Modi government. Every state related issue will be taken up with the Centre,” Munda added.


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