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Lotus bloom at Centre may put some state govts in mud

The party is of the view that Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttarakhand governments could collapse and a Modi wave may resurrect its chances

Archis Mohan 

If the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) forms the next central government, Bihar’s Janata Dal (United) government, under Nitish Kumar, might be the first casualty. leaders on Tuesday claimed half the members of Kumar’s party were upset and could cross over to

Bihar, though, might not be alone to feel the pinch. A favourable BJP-led government at the Centre is likely to motivate the party units in Delhi, and Uttarakhand to push for rule in these states, too.

The Delhi legislature is in suspended animation since the Aam Aadmi Party government quit in February. The Congress government in Uttarakhand survives on a wafer thin majority, and so does the Mukti Morcha (JMM)-Congress alliance in

A section in the is of the view that the Jharkhand, and Uttarakhand governments could collapse “because of their internal contradictions” and elections could be held within months of conclusion of the Lok Sabha polls. “The would do well in the wake of the ‘Modi wave’ and form governments here,” a party leader said. is slated to go to polls by end of this year. So are Haryana and Maharashtra. The Assembly’s term ends in early 2015, while Uttarakhand elected a new Assembly in January 2012 and Delhi in November 2013.

Maharashtra and Haryana are two states where, again, the would hope to form governments. Maharashtra is currently ruled by the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NPC) alliance, while Haryana has a Congress government. The Maharashtra government faces anti-incumbency after 15 years in power, while Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s government has been in power in Haryana for 10 years.

According to leaders, like Shahnawaz Hussain and claimed in on Tuesday, engineering defections in a rival party is anathema to the party. They say non-governments might fall under the weight of their internal contradictions after the general elections.

The leadership on Tuesday claimed the government in Patna was at its mercy. Hussain and Modi said as many 52 JD(U) legislators had contacted

The JD(U) has 116 MLAs in the 243-member Assembly, while has 91 members. The majority mark is 122. The anti-defection law requires two-thirds of a party’s MLAs to defect, else they face a certain expulsion from the legislature.

Sushil Modi, who was Bihar’s deputy chief minister till and JD(U) parted ways in June 2013, said in Patna that most of JD(U) MLAs were against Nitish Kumar’s decision to end the JD(U)-alliance. “The MLAs are helping candidates in the Lok Sabha polls,” Modi said.

Hussain, a sitting MP from Bhagalpur, said in New Delhi that JD(U) MLAs were upset with the whimsical and undemocratic leadership had displayed over the past year. “Even a senior leader like Sharad Yadav has little freedom to speak his mind. MLAs are angry that Nitish ji has been giving legislative council and Rajya Sabha tickets to outsiders,” Hussain said, adding that JD(U) MLAs “don’t see any future by continuing with Nitish”. Both Modi and Hussain, however, stressed had or would have no role to play in the eventual fall of the Nitish government.

A leader said the party would sit down to think its strategy after the Lok Sabha polls. “We need to weaken Nitish’s Kurmi and Mahadalit vote base if we have to challenge (Rashtriya Janata Dal chief) Lalu Prasad’s Muslim-Yadav vote bank.”

Some in Delhi are also confident of forming a government in Delhi. A section in the state unit claims there were enough AAP MLAs who didn’t want another Assembly election in Delhi, and would be willing to cross over to However, the majority view is that shouldn’t sully its hands with horse-trading and engineering defections. This section wants fresh elections and is certain the party will do much better on the strength of the ‘Modi wave’.

In the Delhi state elections in November 2013, along with its ally Shiromani Akali Dal had fallen four seats short of a simple majority in the 70-member House. Ther combine had won 32 seats, AAP had bagged 28. But AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal, who had formed the government with support from eight Congress MLAs, had quit after 49 days. The Assembly has since been in suspended animation and Delhi under President’s rule.

Similarly, Congress government in Uttarakhand has a thin majority in the 70-member House. In the state elections in January 2012, Congress had won 33 seats, while had got 30. The Assembly has three BSP MLAs and independents supporting the Congress government, while the lone Uttarakhand Kranti Dal MLA has allied with

In Ranchi, the Hemant Soren-led Mukti Morcha-Congress government has a majority of just one in the 79-member House. The JMM-led alliance has 40 MLAs, including the speaker, while the Opposition has 39. The state government completes its term towards the end of this year.

First Published: Wed, May 07 2014. 00:39 IST