Koda leaves for Delhi accompanied by Deputy CM Stephen Marandi

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Ranchi, Aug 22 (UNI) Beleaguered Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda facing threat to his regime, today flew to New Delhi following summons from UPA central leadership amid speculation of JMM president Shibu Soren inching towards his goal of taking the reign of the state.

Accompanied by deputy chief minister Stephen Marandian Mr Koda at the Birsa Munda airport before his departure told reporters that he will have discussions with the UPA leaders on crisis triggered by JMM with 17 legislators withdrawing of support to him on August 17.

Mr Koda, scheduled to face a trial of strength in a special session of the Assembly on August 25, said he would not resign and prove his majority on the floor.

The chief minister had been insisting on a meeting of the UPA to sort out the differences instead of airing views here and there adding that he would place his views to them of his performance in past two years, which he thought would justify his claim to complete the tenure.

Menawhile, the JMM president, who was already in Delhi to lobby hard to oust Koda, yesterday met UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and other leaders.

Congress in-charge of the state Ajay Maken said the party had no problem if Soren became the chief minister. But RJD supremo Lalu Prasad was still playing his cards close to his chest.

Mr Soren yesterday claimed that he had suport from the RJD and met the party chief, the latter said there was no such meeting between them as reported.

The JMM's arithmatic to gain power apparently depended on the support from Congress (7), RJD (9), BJP dissidents (2), Independent ministers (7) excluding Mr Koda and Mr Stephen Marandi besides the party's own strength of 17 that stood at 42 in the house of 82 including one vacant seat caused by the death of Tamar legislator Ramesh Singh Munda (JD-U), who was assassinated by Maoists last month.

Besides support from the RJD and Congress, Mr Soren was trying to rope in the Independent ministers but many of them till the other say were reluctant to see change of leadership right now.


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