Why Did BJP’s Arjun Munda Led Coalition Government Fall?

Jharkhand has unique distinction of being the only state where 8 Chief Ministers have served in the last 12 years since Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar as separate state in 2000.

Let us look at the tenures of different Chief Ministers in the state since its formation in 2000.

Chief Minister

Party

Period

Duration

1 Babulal Marandi

BJP

15.11.2000 to 17.03.2003

28 months approx.

2 Arjun Munda

BJP

18.03.2003 to 02.03.2005

24 months approx.

3 Shibu Soren

JMM

02.03.2005 to 12.03.2005

10 days

4 Arjun Munda

BJP

12.03.2005 to 14.09.2006

18 months approx.

5 Madhu Koda

Independent

14.09.2006 to 27.08.2008

23 months approx.

6 Shibu Soren

JMM

27.08.2008 to 18.01.2009

5 months approx.

7 Shibu Soren

JMM

30.12.2009 to 31.03.2010

3 months approx.

8 Arjun Munda

BJP

11.09.2010 70 08.01.2013

27 months approx.

It must be mentioned that couple of times Jharkhand had also seen extended period of President’s rule, these period of President’s rule interspersed the above named Chief Ministers’ period in office.

Although the coalition politics has become reality of our contemporary political times, what happen in Jharkhand in the name of coalition politics and government formation in the last 12 years are really worrying signs for the health of political culture in the state. The power-hungry and opportunist political leaders brazenly indulge in all sorts of compromises to occupy the seat of power and share the spoils of office, so to say the least in layman’s terminology.

It is the sign of our distressing times, when two bitterly politically opposing parties, viz., BJP and JMM come together to form a government, time-and-again; more so when their short shared political history in Jharkhand have seen far too many betrayal and trust-deficiency between the two leading political parties of state, in terms of numerical strength.

Was JMM party riding on two boats at the same time?

In September 2010, in the Arjun Munda led coalition government, the following political parties again came together to form the government. This happened only few months after same BJP party had withdrawn the support from the Shibu Soren led coalition government in April 2010, consisting of same coalition-partner constituents, this was after BJP cited betrayal by JMM leader Shibu Soren.

Political Parties

Number of Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs)

Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP)

18

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)

18

All Jharkhand Student Union (AJSU)

6

Janta Dal United (JD-U)

2

Independent MLAs

2 to 3

So the coalition government had easily crossed the magic number of 41 in the 81 members Jharkhand State Assembly.

It is rather unique case in our Indian political history, when JMM party is supporting the Congress led UPA Government at the centre, but in Jharkhand, JMM forms coalition government with BJP. More so when one consider the voting by JMM party in favour of UPA Government in the key issues like FDI, Nuclear Deal, even the BJP sponsored cut motion in April 2010, et al.

There is / was inherent contradiction in the above mentioned BJP and JMM’s political arrangement.

What is this alleged seat sharing formula for 28 months each between BJP and JMM parties?

As we have seen that in the 81 member Jharkhand Assembly, both BJP and JMM are the largest parties in the assembly, with their 18 MLAs each.

Pic Courtesy: Hindu
Shibhu Soren (L) and Arjun Munda (R)~Pic Courtesy: Hindu

JMM had all along been claiming that before the formation of Arjun Munda led government in September 2010, both BJP and JMM parties had reached the agreement on the CM’s seat sharing between the two parties on rotational basis, while BJP would lead the government for first 28 months and for next 28 months JMM would lead the coalition government. The primary reason cited for this 28 months arrangement was that both BJP and JMM have equal number of MLAs.

But in the hurriedly called press-conference of BJP’s Arjun Munda held last week in the wake of fast approaching deadline of Januray 10th 2013 given by JMM to hand over the reins to JMM; Arjun Munda categorically denied ever being in agreement of any such type of CM’s seat sharing arrangement with JMM. Arjun Munda’s firm denial of 28 months rotational policy led JMM party to pull the plug from BJP led coalition government. We would never really know, for sure that which party is speaking the truth in the matter related to 28 months.

But as a neutral bystander, one cannot really deny that seat sharing arrangement of 28 months each between BJP and JMM seems plausible, as both parties have equal number of 18 legislatures.

We continue to wonder what would have happened if BJP had handed over the reins of CM seat to JMM, would this government fallen?

Generally no national party like to play second fiddle to its regional party allies, in the state.

Was JMM felt being sidelined by BJP and AJSU parties?

Off-late, it had became apparent to the political observers in Jharkhand that JMM was increasingly feeling uneasy as both BJP and AJSU were trying to increase their sphere of political influence in Santhal Pargana region of Jharkhand, which is considered the JMM’s stronghold, in fact JMM’s last bastion. It seemed that in the recent years both BJP and AJSU were either purposely or inadvertently trying to undermine the political clout of JMM’s chief Shibu Soren in Santhal Pargana. And it became quite obvious in the last few months.

Though, the BJP led coalition government did form the Coalition Coordination Committee under the leadership of Shibu Soren to guide the government and coordinate among its allies, but the said committee remained a powerless entity for all its practical purposes. This committee met once in a blue moon and even if it met, its decisions were never really binding on the government.

But we do wonder, whether this committee would have served any real purpose in the scheme of things in Jharkhand Government.

Anyway, JMM party felt that their survival is at stake as both BJP and AJSU were be allowed to carry on making dents in their Santhal Pargana fortress.

Is greed and personal political ambition taking precedence over welfare of people?

One of the primary reasons behind the Jharkhand state being in constant political turmoil and political uncertainty is the fact that the majority of Jharkhand’s political leaders are highly ambitious and greedy as far as physically occupying the Chief Ministers and / or any other Ministerial offices are concerned. No one wants to be left behind in the race to occupy the spoils of office.

There is nothing wrong with the personal political ambitions of many of Jharkhand’s leaders but what is highly objectionable and deplorable is the way that many of these Jharkhand’s political leaders subvert truth and morality to actively seek their personal goals besides they try to amass wealth and power at the cost of taxpayers’ money. The opposition political parties have regularly raised their voices against the so called “behind-the scene-unholy-deal” among the political constituents of Arjun Munda led government, to form the government. No doubt the Jharkhand state and large majority of its denizens continue to languish in poverty and deprivation while many political leaders stockpile wealth well beyond their legal source of income.

Although, JMM has brought down the curtain on another reign of poor governance but we are not too optimistic as far as formation of new governance is concerned, as the political culture has decayed in Jharkhand. The degree of corruption and poor governance continues has afflicted the entire political and administrative spectrum of Jharkhand and we do not see any escape from that, at least not in near future. Unless, off course someone from higher political echelon decides to shed their greed and take higher moral ground and embark on the path to honestly serve the people of Jharkhand.

Team Focus

Team Focus

We are bunch of commoners and our bloggers' e-magazine focuses on the AlterNative Voices from Jharkhand, India.
Team Focus
Team Focus

Written by

We are bunch of commoners and our bloggers' e-magazine focuses on the AlterNative Voices from Jharkhand, India.

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