Move comes after three Jharkhand Congress MLAs were caught in West Bengal carrying Rs 50 lakh.


New Delhi: After three MLAs of Jharkhand Congress were caught in West Bengal carrying Rs 50 lakh, the faltering JMM-Congress alliance, expecting a Maharashtra-like situation, scrambled to save their government by protecting their MLAs. Now, there are signs of distrust within the parties in the state. Both the Congress and JMM are going to go for rejig in the cabinet, sources said. According to a source, the Congress has confirmed to change at least two of its ministers to revamp its image and incentivize loyalty, though JMM leaders are tight-lipped about any development in the party. A source privy to the development in the JMM said, the JMM is also likely to change at least two of its ministers and shuffle the ministerial portfolios after 10 August.
Suprio Bhattacharya, JMM spokesperson, said, “It may be that there could be changes in the cabinet. As for how many will be changed, I can’t predict that, it is the privilege of CM. He has to do that.”
The change of cabinet may come in the wake of internal turbulence that both the parties have been facing. The Congress, particularly, was struggling to keep its lot together though the party was alert, according to sources. According to the assessment of Congress leaders, the total of 10 MLAs were ready to jump over to the BJP, but the aim was to get 12 on board and this has kept things hanging for a while. And the mastermind of the whole plot, according to a source close to the top leadership, was Rameshwaram Oraon who with his son had recently met Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, in Taj hotel in Delhi. Rameshwar Oraon is the Finance Minister of Jharkhand currently from Congress quota.
Another minister who could be changed in Congress is Banna Gupta, Health Minister of Jharkhand, who is also believed to have played a role in the conspiracy. Earlier this year, Banna Gupta had raised questions over the coalition and said that CM Hemant Soren is trying to capture Congress’ vote base. Showing his dissatisfaction, he further said, “Jab manjhi he naav dubaye, usse koun bachaye,” (if the boatman himself sinks the boat, then who will save it).
The Sunday Guardian talked to Rajesh Thakur, who said, “I don’t know about the rejig for now. I don’t know whether the party will have changes. The BJP is trying to bring down the government not only in Jharkhand, but everywhere in the country. They are continuously trying to do that and we are alert for that. We have always been on alert mode about the way the Union government has been working against all non-BJP governments.” He further added that the BJP is continuously trying to topple the government, but there is no threat to the government as all such attempts will fail.