This Article is From Sep 10, 2010

BJP divided over Jharkhand; Advani likely to skip swearing-in ceremony

New Delhi: Arjun Munda is all set to be sworn in as the Chief Minister of Jharkhand on Saturday, but it seems his toughest challenge isn't managing the alliance with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).

Sources have told NDTV that the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is a house divided when it comes to Jharkhand. Leaders like Lal Krishna Advani feel that the alliance with the JMM is bad news, so much so that the veteran leader may skip the swearing-in ceremony.(Read: One Jharkhand, two Deputy Chief Ministers) 

The other BJP stalwart from the state Yashwant Sinha, it is reported, is miffed at no being made the Chief Minister. He had the backing of many top leaders of the party who now feel the coalition government with the JMM may prove to be a big political embarrassment.

Munda on his part is confident of being sworn in at 11o'clock in the morning on the 11th of September. "We have a formal invitation from the Governor. The Governor asked us when can you form the government, and we said September 11," says the Chief Minister-in-waiting.

Munda has the blessings of BJP president Nitin Gadkari. Gaadkari pushed for the BJP to form a government in the state with the JMM, even while he was away in Russia. Raghubar Das says Gadkari called him at midnight, and asked him to step down as the leader of  BJP legislature party, to make way for Arjun Munda.

BJP withdrew from the Shibu Soren-led coalition government in in May this year, after Soren's JMM voted with the Congress in Parliament, against the BJP-sponsored cut-motion on rising fuel prices.