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A frustrated BJP withdraws support to Soren

Last updated on: May 24, 2010 12:54 IST

After dilly-dallying for nearly a month, the Bharatiya Janata Party withdrew support to the Shibu Soren government in Jharkhand reducing it to a minority on Monday.

Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Raghuvar Das handed over the letter withdrawing support to the Soren government to Governor M O H Farooq.

"I have handed over the letter, which contains the signature of all 18 BJP Members of Legislative Assembly, withdrawing support," Das told the media at the Raj Bhavan.

The governor said he would "study it."

Frustrated over the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha backtracking on its power-sharing agreement in Jharkhand, the BJP had decided to withdraw support on Sunday after a defiant Soren asserted that he would continue as the chief minister and was in touch with the Congress.

The BJP parliamentary board had on April 28 decided to withdraw support to the JMM government after Soren voted against the party-sponsored cut motion against the UPA Government in Lok Sabha a day earlier.

However, the decision was put on hold when JMM Legislature party leader and Soren's son Hemant wrote a letter to BJP chief Nitin Gadkari pledging support to a BJP-led government.

But, the JMM backtracked and demanded rotational power sharing with each party leading the government for 28 months.

This was agreed to by the BJP on the understanding that Soren would quit as chief minister by May 25 after which Munda will head the new coalition government.

As the deadline for his stepping down approached, Soren made it clear on Friday that there was not going to quit.

"The question of a change of government comes if there is no development. But now development is going on," he had told the media.

The chief minister had on Saturday went a step further saying he was weighing all options, including cutting a deal with the Congress to continue in power.

The Soren government now has 27 MLAs, including 18 of its own, five of the AJSU, two of the Janata Dal (United) and two others in support in the 81-member House.

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