Governor invites Soren after "Guruji" seeks appointment

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Ranchi, Aug 16 (UNI) Stepping a step further towards its mission to dislodge Chief Minister Madhu Koda, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha president Shibu Soren today dashed a letter to Raj Bhavan seeking an appointment with Governor Syed Sibtey Razi tomorrow.

Mr Soren's porposed appointment with the Governor assumed significance as the JMM was scheduled to hold an emergency meeting tomorrow to take a final decision over continuance of support to the Koda-led Government.

Mr Soren warned that if Koda refused to resign then the JMM would withdraw support to the government.

JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharyya carried the letter signed by Soren that sought appoinment with Razi at 1900 hours tomorrow.

A latest report from Raj Bhawan said the Governor invited Soren to meet him on scheduled.

On his return from New Delhi on August 13, Soren said the UPA's High Command had asked Koda to resign paving way for him to take over, which the present incumbent refused to oblige.

With Koda sticking to his ground that his stepping down as chief minister must be a unanimous decision of the UPA leadership, Soren said he would not mind if President rule was imposed following his party's withdrawal of support to the government.

Soren also made it clear that his party's final stand on the matter would be taken on August 17 (tomorrow).

On the other hand, the beleagured chief mniister Madhu Koda continued to rule out any threat to his government as adding to his stregth, majority of the Independent MLAs also showed solidarity with him.

Koda asserted that he did not receive any instsruction from the UPA leadership to resign.

Both the Congress and RJD though said they had no objection to Soren's becoming the Chief Minister, they, however, made it clear that the JMM must muster support to prove majority in the 82-member house.

Koda at present has 43 MLAs including - JMM (17), Cong (7), RJD (9), UGDP (2), NCP (1) and some Independents.

No sooner had the JMM president Sibu Soren asserted that he would decide on the fate of Koda on August 17, than the party swung into action to woo the Independent MLAs, a key to formation of the next government.

At present about five independent among total 43-MLAs were with the UPA backed Madhu Koda government.

Meanwhile, on August 13, Jharkhand High Court served notices to five independent MLAs (all ministers) including Deputy CM Stephen Marandi, Enos Ekka, Kamlesh Singh, Chandra Prakash Choudhary and Bhanu Pratap Shahi after hearing a PIL seeking the court's intervention in resolving the anti-defection cases pending against them before the Jharkhand Assembly Speaker Alamgir Alam.

Only one among the independents, state's youth and culture minister minister Bandhu Tirkey has come out in favuor of JMM president saying ''Guruji'' (as Soren called in the state) should hold the leadership here.

Deputy chief minister Stephen Marandi, Food and civil supply minister Kamalesh Singh and health minister Bhanu Pratap Shahi were not in favour of change of leadership right now.

UNI PRS-AM PC AB 1938

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