Jharkhand's ruling coalition partner Jharkhand Mukti Morcha on Monday decided to withdraw support to the Arjun Munda-led Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state, pushing it to a minority, in a new twist to the tussle for power between the two allies.
JMM leader and Deputy Chief Minister Hemant Soren said the decision taken at the party's executive committee meeting was "unanimous" and taken after talking to several BJP leaders, including its Jharkhand affairs in-charge Dharmendra Pradhan.
Late on Monday night, a meeting of BJP's stat core committee, including Pradhan and senior leader Yashwant Sinha, was on to discuss the development.
"After a series of meetings, JMM has decided to withdraw support to the (BJP-led) government," Hemant Soren told the media in Ranchi after the party's executive committee meeting.
JMM chief Shibu Soren said the party would hand over on Tuesday a letter conveying to Governor Syed Ahmed its decision to withdraw support to Munda government.
In the 82-member state assembly, BJP and JMM have 18 members each and the Munda government enjoys the support of six members of All Jharkhand Students' Union, two of Janata Dal-United, two independents and one nominated member who has voting right in trial of strength.
Opposition Congress has a total 13, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha(P)11 and Rashtriya Janata Dal 5 members in the assembly.
Earlier, Munda met JMM chief Shibu Soren and discussed the political situation in the state.
JMM has put before BJP 'over phone' certain issues, including the "ruling by rotation". The 28-month limit for ruling by BJP, according JMM, ended on January 10.
Relations between BJP and JMM have come under strain since Chief Minister Arjun Munda, in a written reply to a letter from JMM on January 3, rejected that there was an agreement between the two parties on "rotation of power" after 28 months in office.
JMM, however, insisted there had been an agreement to share power. Hemant Soren had in a letter to Munda on December 25 asked him to clarify BJP's stand on the issue.
Hemant Soren said, "If BJP considers them (the issues) positively, then the JMM can even consider its withdrawal of support."
He said the issues are: "a senior BJP MP from Santhal Pargana has been giving baseless statements against the JMM leadership, which is intolerable. There is no coordination in the alliance."
Meanwhile, the Congress is maintaining a wait-and-watch attitude over the political developments in Jharkhand where the Arjun Munda government has been reduced to a minority following JMM's decision to withdraw support to it.
Senior leader Shakeel Ahmed, who is in-charge of Congress affairs in Jharkhand, said, "We are keeping an eye on the developments in Jharkhand after the fall of the BJP-led government. Congress will take stock of the situation and decide its future course of action."
Ahmed insisted that untill the chief minister resigns "we have nothing to do with the development."