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BJP may gun for Jharkhand speaker
Tara Shankar Sahay in New Delhi | March 19, 2003 12:41 IST
Having managed to save its government in Jharkhand, the Bharatiya Janata Party's first priority now would be to ensure the ouster of assembly Speaker Inder Singh Namdhari.
On Monday, Babulal Marandi was forced to relinquish the chief minister's post after seven ministers resigned and sought separate seating arrangements, indicating that they would no longer like to be associated with the ruling National Democratic Alliance.
Immediately after that the government was defeated in a vote on a financial matter, which triggered a major crisis.
The seven dissidents, along with opposition MLAs, elected Namdhari as their leader and approached Governor Rama Jois staking claim to form an alternative government.
When the governor rejected that claim and asked Marandi to prove his majority, the BJP leadership stepped in to salvage the situation.
Realising that he had lost majority support within the NDA, Marandi resigned paving the way for Home Minister Arjun Munda to take over as chief minister on Tuesday.
The crisis may be over, but the challenge posed by Namdhari still rankles and the threat of another rebellion remains.
Senior leader J P Mathur indicated that the speaker had proved to be more than a handful for the BJP leadership.
Namdhari had earlier crossed over from Laloo Prasad Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal to the Janata Dal-United, led by Union Minister Sharad Yadav.
Namdhari's ambition to be chief minister was never concealed from the BJP leadership
BJP sources told rediff.com that the moment the Munda government was certain about its stability, the party would try to replace the speaker.
The sources said that the BJP leadership, especially Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani, was also unhappy with Marandi.
Advani, who till last week was reluctant to let Marandi go, withdrew his objections at the last moment.
More reports from Jharkhand