M A I N   N E W S

BJP, JMM meeting inconclusive
Faraz Ahmad
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 1
BJP leaders held a four-hour-long marathon round of inconclusive discussions with JMM leaders at the residence of BJP president Nitin Gadkari here this evening, even as there appeared differences among JMM leaders over its to hand over the chief ministership of the coalition government to the BJP.

A shortwhile after 9 pm, BJP general secretary Ananth Kumar briefed the media, “Positive discussions were held in the most cordial atmosphere, but have remained inconclusive.”

He gave no indications as to when the next round of talks would resume, or on what transpired in the meeting or who will be the next chief minister of Jharkhand.

Accompanied by Hemant Soren, Sudesh Mahto (AJSU), Raghubar Dass and other JMM leaders, he said, “We met in the light of the letter to Gadkari. We discussed how to keep the Congress out of power and unitedly work for Jharkhand’s betterment.”

He said no decisions had been arrived at and there might be more such sessions.

Only two BJP leaders from Jharkhand attended today’s meeting, Hazaribagh MP Yashwant Sinha and Deputy Chief Minister Raghubar Dass, virtually confirming reports that with JMM leader and Chief Minister Shibu Soren’s son Hemant being a tribal, having already decided to occupy the deputy chief minister’s chair in the proposed dispensation, the BJP might prefer to appoint a non-tribal chief minister this time.

Meanwhile sources in the BJP said no decision might be taken before Monday (May 3).

This meeting took place amidst obvious disenchantment among some JMM leaders over Hemant Soren’s unilateral decision to offer the chief ministership to the BJP. For instance, an important JMM leader Teklal Mahato said before going for Gadkari’s meeting, “We have come to make our Dishom Guru Shibu Soren the Chief Minister.”

To a query on whether they planned to meet Congress leaders too, Mahto said, “Talks are possible.”

Similarly, another JMM leader Haji Husain Ansari, too, wanted Soren to remain the chief minister.

JMM leader Champai Soren said, “Right now Guruji (Shibu Soren) is the chief minister, we will talk to our alliance partners, but we want him to be in the chair.”

But the AJSU chief was one with Hemant and denied any possibility of talks with the UPA saying, “The question does not arise.”

He said they had come to hold talks with the BJP to explore a political solution to the problem. Another senior JMM leader Hemlal Murmu said, “There is no possibility of going with UPA.” Hemant, chief mediator between the JMM and the BJP, said, “We are going to meet our NDA friends. We will discuss the emerging political situation and an alliance government will be formed.” 





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