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JD(U) demands fresh elections in Jharkhand
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PATNA, July 8 (Agencies): JD(U), which has two MLAs in Jharkhand, today disapproved of attempts to cobble up an alliance government of Congress, JMM and RJD in the state, saying holding fresh elections is the only political solution there.

"The atmosphere of instability that exists in Jharkhand requires fresh elections. This (attempt to form a government there) is an useless exercise. The attempt being made to form a government there is not a proper step.

"Fresh elections should be held to give a political solution to Jharkhand. People should be given a chance," Bihar Chief Minister and senior party leader Nitish Kumar told reporters.

His remarks are significant as there was speculation that JD(U) could support the alternative government in Jharkhand from outside as a quid pro quo for Congress support to its government during trust vote in Bihar last month after Kumar parted ways from the BJP.

His remarks indicate that the JD(U) could at best abstain from the Assembly if Congress-JMM seek to form a government and seek trust vote.

Since the alliance government will have arch rival Lalu Prasad's RJD as a constituent, there was little possibility of Kumar's party participating into it.

Moreover, one of the MLAs of JD(U) Raja Peter had defeated JMM chief Shibu Soren in Tamad assembl y seat and was not expected to support JMM's bid to form a government.

However, JD(U)'s aversion to government formation may not have a bearing on the exercise there as the JMM has inched closer to the simple majority mark after getting letters of support from four MLAs and the Marxist Coordination Committee (MCC) hinting support in JMM's endeavour to forge a multiple alliance to form the 9th government in the state.

"I think the new alliance is likely to stake claim on July 9 or 10," claimed Jharkhand Janadhikar Manch (JJM) MLA Bandhu Tirkey yesterday, who is one of the four MLAs to have given their letter of support.

JMM has 18 members, Congress 13 and RJD 05 in the 82-memmber state assembly. The six-month term of the President's rule ends on July 18.

The central rule was imposed on January 18 after JMM had withdrawn support from BJP's Arjun Munda-led government there.

Soren, who is tipped to be Chief Minister in the next government, will require the support of 42 MLAs to form a government with simple majority there. He was one of the two Deputy Chief Ministers in Munda government earlier.

The lone MCC MLA Arup Chatterjee said JMM leader Hemant Soren telephoned him seeking his support.

CPI (ML-Liberation) MLA Vinod Kumar Singh will not be voting for the government.

It is not yet clear whether other two independents former chief minister Madhu Koda's MLA wife Gita Koda and Jharkhand Party (Ekka) MLA Enos Ekka handed over their letters or not.

As per the agreement between Congress and JMM, they will fight Lok Sabha elections together in Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar and Chhattisgarh and Congress will get 10 of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in the state and JMM 04.

Congress has never come to power in the state ever since it was formed in 2000. JD(U) had participated in the BJP-led governments in the state so far including in the last one led by Arjun Munda, which fell on January 8.

Last month JD(U) and BJP parted ways and hence Nitish Kumar's party is unlikely to be seen voting along with the BJP now against the JMM's trust vote.

JMM had earlier formed a government with BJP and AJSU in this Assembly. However, this government fell when Chief Minister Shibu Soren, who was still a member of the Lok Sabha, voted with the UPA government on a cut motion in 2010.

BJP withdrew support but after a few months both parties again formed a government with Arjun Munda as Chief Minister. This government also fell after 28 months.

News Updated at : Monday, July 8, 2013
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