Having had to accommodate the five Independent MLAs in the 12-member ministry, and with JD-U insisting on at least two ministries, there are concerns that Jharkhand may be heading towards a Goa-like situation.
However, chief minister Arjun Munda denied this. Speaking exclusively to FE, he said that the BJP did not anticipate any problems. Our people are aware of the situation. We are a big group, and since the leadership is in our (the BJPs) hands, our people understand the responsibilities of a coalition government, he said.
He also exuded confidence regarding the Independents. Denying that the Independent MLAs had first approached the UPA and decided to go with NDA after horse-trading, he said, They (Independent MLAs) were with us from the beginning. They made that clear by going twice to the Governor and the President and to the people and saying that they were with us.
When asked whether any problems were anticipated due to the lone NCP MLA, Kamlesh Singh, changing sides, Mr Munda replied, The NCP merger with BJP had happened much earlier. He said that NCP president Dhruv Bhagat was a BJP MLA earlier, and that he only left the party for a while because his name was associated with the fodder scam case (in Bihar). Now that that issue is no longer valid, his group has returned to the BJP, he said.
On whether Kamlesh Singh would be given a portfolio, he said, How does it matter if he gets a portfolio or not He will still remain with us.
Speaking of his priorities as chief minister, he said that he would ensure that every citizen had access to civil amenities like education, health etc.
We also want the states industrial infrastructure to develop, but for this we need investments. We are giving priority to our own resources. We want to change the power scenario in the state. We not only want quality power, we also want to export power to other states and create a power hub. Well be declaring a power policy for the state soon, he said.