JMM to meet Governor tomorrow

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Ranchi, Aug 16 (UNI) The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), which will take the final decision over continunance of its support to the Madhu Koda-led UPA government, today sent a letter to Raj Bhavan seeking appointment with Governor Syed Sibtey Razi at 1900 hrs tomorrow.

JMM General Secretary Supriyo Bhattacharyya carried the letter signed by party president Shibu Soren that sought appoinment with Mr Razi and the Governor gave his consent, Raj Bhavan sources told UNI.

The proposed meeting with the governor is seemed to be a tougher stand taken Mr Soren, who was bent to dislodge Mr Koda and take over the reign.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mr 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 asserted that he would decide on the fate of Mr Koda on August 17, than the party swung into action to woo the Independent MLAs, a key to the formation of next government in the state.

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

Meanwhile, on August 13, the 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 Public Interest Litigation seeking the court's intervention in resolving the anti-defection cases pending agaisnt them before the Jharkhand Assembly Speaker Alamgir Alam.

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

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 at the moment.


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