The Telegraph
Friday , December 28 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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CD shocker on power pact

Ranchi, Dec. 27: A CD — purportedly showing an agreement between BJP and JMM on sharing of power-sharing on a rotational basis before the coalition was formed in 2010 — did the rounds in local television channels today.

According to sources, the video was circulated to the media by JMM.

It shows several senior leaders of ruling allies BJP, Ajsu and JMM at state co-ordination committee chairman Shibu Soren’s residence.

In the footage, Munda tells the participants, “We have reached an agreement. Guruji will be telling you about it.” Then Soren adds, “The BJP and JMM will be heading the coalition government for 28 months each.”

Questions are being raised about the authenticity of the controversial CD.

“The person who gave us the CD claimed that it was recorded on September 10, 2010. Munda took oath on September 11. But when we checked the properties of the CD, it was found that the recording was done on May 18, 2010. It also appears that the recordings have been tampered with at several places,” confided the chief of bureau of a news channel.

State HRD minister Baidyanath Ram, also known as chief minister Arjun Munda’s right-hand man in the cabinet, met JMM leader Hemant Soren at his residence after TV channels started playing the CD.

What transpired at the closed-door meeting between the BJP leader and Hemant is not known. Ram said they discussed problems faced by the people in his Assembly constituency (Latehar).

He refused to comment on questions about any understanding on power-sharing between the ruling allies, saying the chief minister would answer them on his return from Delhi on Saturday.

Senior JMM leaders including Hemant later rushed to party chief Shibu Soren’s Morabadi residence. Soren’s daughter-in-law and Jama MLA Sita Soren was also present. However, they remained tight-lipped while talking to newsmen.

“We have already conveyed our feelings to the chief minister and authorised our party president to take the final decision. Whatever he decides will be acceptable to us,” said co-operative minister Haji Hussain Ansari.

It is being perceived that Munda conveyed the JMM, through Ram, not to complicate the fragile political situation further with public statements.

Senior BJP leaders in Delhi, on the other hand, have already said that they would prefer sacrificing their government in Jharkhand instead of succumbing to JMM’s pressure tactics.

“Unless the BJP formally tells us that there was no agreement on power sharing for 28 months each or turns down our other demands, it will not be wise on our part to tell anything. Our party is prepared to face any eventuality, be it President’s Rule or fresh elections,” iterated Hemant.