Munda meets Shibu Soren to defuse crisis

Ranchi, Jan 7 (IANS) Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda met Jharkhand Mukti Mocha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren to defuse the crisis over the issue of "rotation of power" between the coalition partners in the state government.

The JMM Sunday night announced it would take a decision at its executive committee meeting Monday on whether or not to continue its coalition with the BJP.

In a move to pacify the JMM chief, Munda Monday afternoon met him at his residence. The meeting lasted about half an hour.

Munda did not speak to the media about what transpired at the meeting.

The meeting assumes significance as the JMM has expressed displeasure over the manner in which the government has functioned in the recent past.

Relations between coalition partners Bharatiya Janata Party and JMM have been worsening ever since Chief Minister Arjun Munda, in a written reply to the JMM Jan 3, denied that there was an agreement between them on "rotation of power" after 28 months in office.

The 28-month period ends Jan 10.

The JMM has five ministers in the BJP-led cabinet, including Deputy Chief Minister Hemant Soren.

The coalition government was formed in September 2010.

The JMM insists that there had been an agreement between the two parties to share power, and the Munda government would have to hand over power to the JMM at the completion of 28 months in office.

The BJP-led government headed by Arjun Munda was formed in September 2010 with support of the JMM, which has 18 legislators in the 82-member assembly.

Apart from the BJP's own 18 legislators, the party also has the support of six All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) members and two Janata Dal-United (JD-U) members.

If the JMM decides to opt out of the coalition, the BJP-led Munda government would be reduced to a minority.

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