Jharkhand appears headed for brief spell of President’s rule

Ranchi/New Delhi: Jharkhand appears headed for a brief spell of President's rule after Chief Minister Arjun Munda resigned on Tuesday and recommended dissolution of the assembly and Congress showed no hurry to support formation of an alternative government.

The decision of the BJP-led government to seek dissolution of the assembly and the Chief Minister's resignation left the situation wide open for Governor Syed Ahmed to decide the future course of action. He was said to be consulting constitutional experts.

BJP's ruling coalition partner JMM, in a letter to the Governor, formally withdrew its support to the 28-month-old government pushing it into a minority.

Munda, on the other hand, met the Governor and resigned.

Later, he told reporters that "I have submitted the cabinet's decision recommending to the Governor dissolution of the House along with my resignation".

His cabinet colleagues Gopal Krishna Patar of JD(U), Chandraprakash Choudhary of AJSU and several BJP MLAs were present when Munda submitted the letter at Raj Bhavan at 11.45 AM.

The Governor, he said, would decide on the recommendation for dissolution of the House.

"I have run the government with stability for the last two years. Dissolution of the House and seeking a fresh mandate is the alternative presently," he said.

The decision on recommending dissolution of the House was taken at a cabinet meeting held this morning to prevent any 'horse trading-like situation', Munda told PTI before going to the Raj Bhavan.

"Seven ministers (of the coalition government) were present in the cabinet meeting and it was decided to recommend dissolution of the state Assembly," he said.

No JMM member was present at the meeting.

The decision, he said, was taken as no national party had openly come forward to provide an alternative government in the wake of the JMMs announcement to pull out of the government.

Jharkhand has witnessed fast-paced political developments after BJP rejected all demands of JMM including handing over of power as per an 'accord' on rotational leadership of the coalition.