Change of guard would affect development in J'khand: Stephen

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Dumka, Aug 10 (UNI) Jharkhand Deputy Chief Minister Stephen Marandi, an Independent MLA, today said that change of guard in the state was not possible without taking independent MLAs into confidence.

Mr Stephen's statement echoed sentiments of few other ministerial colleagues supporting Chief Minister Madhu Koda as the state UPA government got support of 43 MLAs including five independents in the 82-seat state Assembly.

Besides Mr Marandi, few other ministers including state food and supply ministers Kamlesh Kumar Singh (NCP) came out openly in support of the present CM, saying the government was ''functioning smoothly and efficiently''.

''There must be a consensus among the independents for change in leadership'', Mr Marandi told newspersons here.

Criticising Jharkhand Mukti Morcha(JMM) president Sibu Soren for his claims for the post of CM, Mr Marandi said Mr Soren should not join the race of power and instead suggest measures for the state's development.

''Mr Soren is acceptable to everyone but the pace of development would be adversely affected if power is handed over him'', Mr Marandi felt.

''It is ludicrous that the UPA leaders were engaged in such trivial issues when there are many more important things to discuss'', the deputy CM asserted.

He said either Railway Minister Lalu Prasad or Congress leader Ahmad Patel gave indications about the change in leadership to the independent MLAs who recently met both the leaders.

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