In a last-ditch effort to salvage its government in Jharkhand, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha on Wednesday extended an olive branch to Bharatiya Janata Party, which withdrew support reducing it to a minority, saying chief minister Shibu Soren was ready to resign and a new leader could be installed.
"Shibu Soren is ready to resign if the BJP leadership thinks his voting against the cut motion has hurt it, and BJP should review its decision to withdraw support to Jharkhand government," Soren's son Hemant told mediapersons in Ranchi.
He said JMM 'is also asking BJP to initiate forming a government under another leader if it thinks Soren has committed any mistake.'
Questioned when Soren would resign, Hemant said, "Tomorrow our JMM legislature party meeting will meet to take a decision."
Earlier in the day, BJP withdrew support to Shibu Soren, hitting back the chief minister's voting against the cut motion in the Lok Sabha. Asked if JMM is with the United Progressive Alliance, Hemant said, "We are with the NDA."
Hemant said 'the error during the voting was committed by the chief minister due to his indisposition. For this, we met the BJP's president and expressed our regret.'
"For his error the chief minister is ready to put in papers", he said. "We understand BJP's feelings following this misunderstanding and JMM leadership expresses its solidarity with the party," Hemant said in a press release after a marathon meeting with party leaders, including the chief minister.
JMM leader Suraj Mandal accused Congress of launching the propaganda that Soren had voted in favour of that party. "Soon after that, I spoke to Shibu Soren who said he had voted by mistake. Any person can commit error. I hope the BJP leadership will consider the JMM's request for a review of its decision of withdrawing support to the Soren government," Mandal added.
Deputy Chief Minister and AJSU President Sudesh Mahto also joined the meeting but did not address the press.