Thriller : When UPA sent Deputy CM to raid an aeroplane

In terms of realpolitik, here is what is happening in Goa and Manipur. The BJP got more votes but less seats. Now, the BJP is striking a deal with smaller players to grab power in both states.

In other words, the Congress benefited from an idiosyncrasy of the electoral process and ended up with more seats with less votes. Now, the BJP is benefiting from an idiosyncrasy of the parliamentary process and winning power even with less seats.

Based on their party sympathies, I am sure people will take their pick on which party is “murdering democracy”. In the meanwhile, I came across this tweet:

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Coming from P Chidambaram, one can only assume that this tweet was basically intended as a joke,  perhaps in a light “Bura na mano holi hai” mood. I could have called it a case of the “devil quoting the scriptures”, but I do not subscribe to the dark absolutes of Abrahamic thought.

Nevertheless, the Honorable Former Minister felt the need to specify that his Twitter account is intended for  “short but serious comment on contemporary issues”. Which puts me in the mood to tell you a story. It’s a political thriller from 2005. Listen if you will.

Here are the results of the Assembly Election in the State of Jharkhand from Feb – March 2005 (Total of 81 seats).

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The BJP was by far the largest party, winning 30 seats out of the 63 seats it contested. The BJP’s prepoll alliance partner JDU contested the other 18 seats and won 6. This took the NDA tally to 36 in the 81 member Assembly.

The UPA parties were far behind with JMM winning 17 and Congress winning just 9 for a total of 27 seats if you would like to include the NCP’s lone MLA as well.

Immediately after the results, the BJP received the support of 5 other MLAs : 2 from the AJSU (All Jharkhand Students Union), the lone MLA from the Jharkhand Party and 2 other independents. This took the NDA tally to 41, which would be a clear majority.

(Side note: Because of the lack of any identifiable party structure or discipline in the two smaller parties mentioned above as supporting BJP, several media sources for this article tend to refer to all these 5 MLAs simply as “independents”).

The BJP duly staked claim to form the government and also physically presented the 5 supporting MLAs before the Honorable Governor of Jharkhand.

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But then, Governor Syed Sibtey Razi did something that shocked and stunned the entire state of Jharkhand. He invited JMM supremo Shibu Soren to form the government. Soren was sworn in as CM and Stephen Marandi as Deputy CM.

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To give you an idea of how muddy the political waters were in Jharkhand in 2005, let me mention that Stephen Marandi was a JMM rebel who had just won as an independent from Dumka, defeating Shibu Soren’s own son Hemant! In fact, Hemant Soren finished in 3rd position in Dumka with just 20,000 votes. The BJP candidate came second.

The NDA called for a statewide bandh and an agitation, but there was little it could do otherwise. The only option for them was to fly the 41 MLAs to Delhi to be paraded before President Kalam, winning a “moral victory” in public view. The date chosen for this was March 3, 2005. It was now a simple matter of getting these 41 MLAs, including the 5 precious independents, on the 90 minute flight from Ranchi to Delhi.

Right?

No!  Not so fast!

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Yes, you read that right! Deputy Chief Minister Stephen Marandi and his men stopped the chartered plane on the runway at Ranchi’s Birsa Munda Airport as it was about to take off! The plane was ordered to return and then raided to capture the independent MLAs on board. This is not a Hollywood movie. This is a low budget thriller produced by our UPA government.

So what did the UPA do once it caught hold of these 5 MLAs?

Nothing. Because the 5 MLAs weren’t on board at all.

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While the Congress government was busy at Ranchi Airport, the 5 independents were actually being driven across the state border. Where were they headed? To BJP ruled Chhattisgarh, obviously. They would be safe there.

Except they weren’t going to Chhattisgarh. Because that was the first border that the UPA government sealed when they realized the MLAs were escaping.

Surely they were headed to Odisha then? Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, then in NDA, would protect them.

Wrong again. The MLAs were actually headed to CPI(M) ruled West Bengal. The panicked UPA government deployed minimum resources on that border, convinced that the BJP would never choose a state ruled by the Left Front!

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Once in Durgapur, the MLAs received further orders from Venkaiah Naidu, who made them turn towards Kharagpur Railway Station. There, at 2:30 AM on March 3, the MLAs boarded a train to Bhubaneswar. At 5 AM on March 3, they were finally safe.

Meanwhile, the BJP continued to bluff, throwing the UPA’s sniffers off the trail over and over again. Rumors were spread that the MLAs were still in Ranchi, then it was said they were in Delhi. At one point, the BJP even spread the rumor that they had been moved to Ahmedabad.

That afternoon, the 5 supporting MLAs finally caught an Indian Airlines flight from Bhubaneswar to Delhi. They were then presented before the President of India.

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Nine days later, Jharkhand Governor Sibtey Razi dismissed Shibu Soren from the post of Chief Minister and invited Arjun Munda to form the government in the state.

PS: Personally, I do not support BJP’s act of forcing in a government in Goa. The party and Parrikar’s image would have been better off not getting involved, the numbers being what they are. 

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13 thoughts on “Thriller : When UPA sent Deputy CM to raid an aeroplane

  1. CW…..Good thriller !….nail biting!….good research!

    In my opinion it was stupid to disturb Parrikar ,who was doing a excellent job as a defense minister!…..AJ again as DM…???!@#!!

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    1. Looking forward to complaint by AJ that he is not able to handle too many portfolios and government taking opportunity to move him out of finance

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  2. The only reason to relieve MParikkar from MOD is that he seriously wants to retire from politics in 2017. Actually he wanted to retire on reaching 60, but postponed it to 2017. Now the party wants to respect his desire and hence was allowed to move on to Goa as CM, as in party’s opinion, Manohar becoming CM in tiny state of Goa and that too in a state he has already managed as CM for number of years, is nothing but retirement for him. Now we can only wish that he completes the full term.

    Regarding morality of not forming the govt due to less number of seats than the SLP, he had already demonstrated that last time in 2007 (if I am correct) when BJP was SLP but Parikkar allowed INC to form the govt because in his opinion BJP could not muster majority.

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  3. Let the consolidated Hindus play a little game, this time Hindu vote bank with massive mandate and sometimes Hindu everywhere rule vote bank like cat and mouse to bring sense to idiots who started this game against 85% Indians, harming more, innocent 15%. Hindus are never in this game but will have to play this game to check idiots like Nehru, Congress, Congress clones and JNU nuts to divide and harm innocent 15% even more. I see Goa and Manipur approach in this light to consolidate and empower trauma Hindus.

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  4. In future, if chaiwallah can add a page to his blog for future threads and due to lack of it presently, I am writing this out of thread here, can be removed by administrator, if considered jarring the present discussion:

    Stockholm syndrom of thousand to currenr years trauma Hindus who are forcibly or subtly removed from their physical, cultural or natural ideological roots like some Hindus or Sikhs from Bengal, Punjab or Kashmir, some Christians, Moslems from Kerala, North East, Goa etc. Communists, Macaulayans is the real cause of India”s problems besides corruption of media, political parties and Bollywood. Recovering the land and souls of trauma Hindus for India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh is one thing required to be done as well other things.

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  5. Great post. BTW, I dont think the BJP forced in the Government in Goa. These matters would have been decided even before the election.

    Also think what would happen if a similar situation played out in Karnataka next year. There are few independent MLA’s who want to support the BJP. Where would they go ?
    Kerala ? Tamil Nadu ? No, they would go to Goa !

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  6. Even though I liked MP to continue as Defence Minister as he was doing a great job despite the bureaucratic hurdles, at least he is going Goa to make it Congress mukt and therefore I fell its still a good move.

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  7. Wow !! Thrila in Manila !! When those who joined hands with BJP demanded or made a condition for Mr. Parrikar to be made CM, the BJP had choice whether to keep Mr. Parrikar as DM or form a government in Goa. Not much of a choice as there are many capable persons in BJP to hold and do good job as DM.

    What is puzzling to me is, why Congress leaders believe that those parties who joined hands with BJP are without any morale and would have gone to Congress if they were first approached by Congress? This stupid talk that Congress wasted 24 hours and hence lost governing of Goa is very baffling to me. Can somebody throw some light on that?

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