Tuesday, November 7, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

JMM snaps ties with NDA
To seek alliance with Cong, RJD 
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Nov 6 — The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (S) today announced its snapping of ties with the NDA and said that it was working towards forming a non-BJP government in the new state of Jharkhand.

Announcing his party’s decision to end its relationship with the NDA, JMM leader Sibu Soren said that his talks with NDA leaders over the CM’s post of the new state had been wrecked by party politics. Asked if talks were on to form a non-BJP government in the state, the JMM leader said that his party leaders were in touch with the RJD and Congress.

Mr Soren said that he would also go to Patna soon to have detailed talks with RJD leader Laloo Prasad Yadav. JMM MLAs are also meeting tomorrow to chalk out their next course of action.

Claiming that 40 non-NDA MLAs of the Jharkhand Assembly would support efforts towards the formation of an alternative government, JMM leaders said that even if a BJP-led government was sworn in, it would not last long. They also denied the possibility of any JMM MLAs breaking away to join the NDA. Party leader R. K. Anand said that they were ready to sit in the opposition if the situation so warranted.

Mr Soren, who has termed that his claim to the post of Chief Minister was a reflection of the people’s desire and a result of his 30-year struggle for an independent state, said that he enjoyed support from all sections, particularly tribesmen. "There are tribesmen MLAs in other parties, including the BJP, and they cannot ignore the wishes of the people," Mr Soren said.

"After we were finally told that the CM would be from the BJP, we decided to break our relations with the NDA," he said. Taking exception to the BJP stand, he said that the issue of CM was not always a game of numbers, but contribution and personality of aspirants also mattered.

Mr Soren even compared the refusal of the BJP to give him the CM’s post with the situation in Kashmir in 1953. "The people there then wanted a government of the National Conference, but a Congress government was made instead,’’ he said. 

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