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Gadkari aide admits crisis

Ranchi, Jan. 2: An emissary of BJP national president Nitin Gadkari flew into Ranchi today, held a tête-à-tête with chief minister Arjun Munda and two meetings with partymen, conceding there was a crisis in the state coalition that has been facing pullout fears from JMM.

Sarkar mein sankat hain, lekin sankat dur kar li jayegi (Yes, there is crisis in the government but it will be solved),” said Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Gadkari’s political adviser, after a closed-door meeting with Munda for more than one hour at the latter’s Kanke Road residence.

No other BJP leader was present at the meeting between the two from 1.40pm to 3pm. Sahasrabuddhe later stressed that the “government will continue”, though he declined to comment in detail on his meeting with Munda.

“The chief minister briefed me about everything. He told me that the situation is under the control of the government. I have taken stock of the current scenario and will inform our national president after I go back,” he told newsmen at the chief minister’s residence.

The political uncertainty in Jharkhand, triggered by JMM’s intermittent claims of a prior understanding with BJP to share power on a rotational basis in the state, has deepened in the past few weeks.

Munda had called on JMM supremo Shibu Soren and the latter’s son and deputy chief minister Hemant on Sunday. However, the Sorens skipped a road inauguration in Jamshedpur involving the chief minister a day later.

Besides reiterating its demand for power-sharing with the BJP for 28 months each, the JMM has also pressed the Munda-led government to execute tenancy laws and follow the 1932 khatiyan (land document) cut-off date for identifying natives and entitle them to grade-III and grade-IV jobs.

Even if Munda managed to tide over the power-sharing crisis, sources said a majority of BJP leaders would not support the demand to base 1932 land records for identifying natives.

“But, the party will make all-out efforts to remain in power in Jharkhand, having lost in Himachal Pradesh in the last Assembly elections,” said a BJP leader.

Before meeting Munda, Sahasrabuddhe interacted with BJP leaders at the party’s state headquarters in Harmu. He also met party leaders this evening.

Sources in the BJP said that the party’s national leadership had been keeping an eye on the political developments in Jharkhand, adding Gadkari might soon summon Munda to Delhi to discuss the issue before January 10.

Sticking to its demands, the JMM is awaiting a written reply from Munda. “We have made our stand clear. As said earlier, we are meeting on January 10 to discuss whether to stay in the government or not,” said JMM central committee executive Supriyo Bhattacharya.

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