NDA, JVM (P) demand President's Rule, fresh poll in J'khand

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Ranchi, Aug 18 (UNI) With the 23-month-old Madhu Koda-led UPA government in Jharkhand reduced to minority following major ally JMM's withdrawal of support last night, the Opposition, comprising NDA and JVM (P), today called on the Governor with the demand of imposing President's Rule in the state and fresh elections.

BJP presiednt P N Singh and senior party Legislators, accompanied by Mr Radhakrishna Kishore, called on Governor Syed Sibtey Razi and demanded dismissal of the present government.

They argued that giving time to either Mr Koda or JMM president Shibu Soren to form alternate government would result in ''horse-trading in large scale''.

The NDA leaders told reporters that neither Mr Koda nor the JMM had the required number to prove majority in the House.

Jharkhand Vikash Morcha (Porgressive) president and former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi also called on the Governor and demanded that President's Rule be imposed in the state before holding fresh elections.

Mr Marandi also expressed apprehensions that if the Governor gave time to either of the parties to form alternate government, it would ''certainly encourage horse-trading''.

Mr Marandi claimed that no party had the mandate to form the government and the situation demanded a fresh mandate.

Meanwhile, the BJP, which has 29 MLAs, besides the backing of four Legislators of the JD-U, said it would not support either Mr Soren or Mr Koda.

Party vice-president Yashwant Sinha also said they would prefer to go for polls.

Mr Soren, who occupied the Chief Minister's chair for nine days in April, 2005, had been threatening since the past one week to withdraw support to the government if Mr Koda did not resign.

Last night, after a marathon meeting of the JMM's central committee, Mr Soren acted on his threat, plunging the state into a fresh bout of uncertainty.

In 2005, Mr Soren had to quit the Chief Minister's post after nine days as he failed to muster a majority on the floor of the House.

UNI PRS DPM AB 1311

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