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No clarity on whether JMM to join NDA

Source: PTI
December 28, 2009 23:09 IST
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Though the Bharatiya Janata Party has managed to forge an alliance with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha for government formation in Jharkhand, there is no clarity as of now on whether the Shibu Soren-led party will become part of the National Democratic Alliance.

When asked whether the JMM will join the NDA as both parties have come together to form a coalition government in the state, Janata Dal-United chief and NDA convener Sharad Yadav said, "A decision on this issue will be taken later."

He was addressing a joint press conference in the presence of JMM chief Shibu Soren, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha and president of All Jharkhand Students Union Sudesh Mahato.

On why the NDA decided to take JMM along when it had protested Soren's alleged involvement in a murder case a few years back, Yadav said, "It is true that we had protested against Soren. We had reacted as per the situation prevailing then. However, he was later acquitted by the high court in the matter. Even I had refused to become a minister when I was chargesheeted in Hawala case."

Recalling his long association with Soren during the agitation for Jharkhand state, the JD-U leader said that the long unfulfilled dream of a model state will now be fulfilled with the BJP, JD-U, JMM and AJSU coming together to form a 'stable and corruption-free government.'

"Development would be our focus and we will go all out against corruption. Jharkhand is a mineral-rich state and its resources need to be used for the development of the state. Combating corruption will be our main challenge," he added.

Soren said that though he played a major role in the formation of the state, he never got a proper opportunity to govern the state.

"On earlier occasions I got only limited opportunities to govern the state. Now this is a good chance and I hope we will get positive support from the BJP. We will form a strong government and complete five years in office. The state will change for good now," he said.

Promising that the NDA-JMM alliance will form a stable, honest and strong government in Jharkhand, Sinha said that it will complete its full term as the alliance has a comfortable majority in the state assembly.

"We have a comfortable majority in Jharkhand assembly as the combined strength of BJP, JD-U, JMM along with AJSU and a couple of Independents (who have given unconditional support) takes our strength to 45 seats in the house of 81.

"We promise a stable, honest and strong government which will complete five years in office," he said.

He added, "The fundamental difference between the previous coalition governments (that have ruled Jharkhand) and the current coalition is that our new coalition is a formation of political groups. BJP, JD-U, JMM and AJSU, we all are political groups and we are not dependent on the support of Independents. Our core is political and we will take the state forward on the path of development."

Sinha said that though all the four constituents fought the assembly elections against each other, 'a common agenda will soon be prepared for governing the state.'

Due to the fractured mandate, nobody had visualised the current situation, but the post-poll situation should be looked at now and in such a situation, no better government can be formed, he said.

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