Jharkhand political crisis deepens: JMM MLAs shifted to Bengal, C’garh?

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Amid the political crisis, reports have suggested preparations have been made to relocate the ruling coalition’s MLAs to “friendly states” such as West Bengal or Chhattisgarh, if necessary, to prevent poaching attempts by the BJP, multiple sources confirm. .

A marathon third round of a meeting of ruling alliance lawmakers is underway at the prime minister’s residence to devise a strategy for dealing with the emerging scenario. All the governing MLAs attend the meeting, along with their baggage, they said.

Governor Ramesh Bais is likely to send Soren’s disqualification order as MLA to India’s Election Commission (ECI) on Saturday, Raj Bhavan sources said.

“All arrangements have been made to park our coalition legislators in Chhattisgarh or West Bengal, both run by non-BJP governments. Three luxury buses have reached Ranchi to transport the MLAs and security personnel by road. There will also be some escort vehicles are,” a source at Congress told PTI.

The source said three sites in Chhattisgarh, including Barmuda and Raipur, and some places in West Bengal have been identified.

“All ruling MLAs will be sent to a single destination if necessary. All MLAs have come to the CM’s house with their luggage to attend the crucial meeting that is underway,” said another source.

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A JMM source said the option to take the lawmakers out of Jharkhand was open and all preparations have been made, but the final decision will not be made until after the disqualification order is sent by the governor.

In the rapidly changing political scenario, “resort politics” is the need of the hour to keep the ruling alliance numbers intact, party sources claimed.

Congressional insiders, a crucial ally in the JMM-led coalition government, had said shielding MLAs by parking them at a resort in a “friendly state” such as West Bengal, Bihar or Chhattisgarh is being considered as an option to prevent lawmakers from poaching. by the BJP.

However, they said a decision on the future course of action could be made once the governor informs them of the ECI’s opinion on Soren’s possible disqualification as an MLA.

Meanwhile, Godda MP for the BJP, Nishikant Dubey, known for his controversial comments, tweeted: “According to sources from Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, some MLAs reached Chhattisgarh at 2 a.m. Most MLAs are reluctant to go and are waiting for orders from the senior JMM leader Basant Soren. Some buses are parked in Ranchi for MLAs.”

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The ECI sent its advice to Bais on August 25 on a plea to disqualify Soren from the MLA for violating electoral norms by renewing a mining lease for himself.

Rural Development and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Alamgir Alam had said on Friday that the ruling alliance’s MLAs cannot be poached and will remain in Ranchi.

Another minister, Mithilesh Thakur, had claimed that the ruling coalition has the magical number of “50 MLAs, going up to 56” while claiming they learned “resort politics” from the saffron party.

Meanwhile, Raj Bhavan sources said the governor could make a phone call in the evening about ECI’s views on the prime minister’s “disqualification” as MLA and send the disqualification order to the committee.

The BJP, the petitioner in the case, has requested Soren’s disqualification for violating Section 9(A) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which deals with disqualification for government contracts.

The clause states that “a person shall be disqualified if and so long as there is a contract entered into by him in the course of his trade or business with the competent authority for the supply of goods to or for the performance of any works undertaken by that government” .

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The matter was referred to the Governor and by him to the EC, as Article 192 of the Constitution provides that in rulings regarding the disqualification of an MLA, the question will be referred to the Governor who will in turn “refer to the opinion of the electoral commission and act on that advice”.

The ruling coalition has 49 MLAs in the 81-member Assembly.

The JMM, the largest party, has 30 MLAs, Congress 18 legislators and the RJD. The main opposition BJP has 26 MLAs in the House.

The coalition partners had claimed on Thursday that there was no threat to the government.

The JMM expressed confidence that Soren will remain prime minister for the full term until 2024.

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