Koda meets Sonia, to decide on resignation tomororow

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New Delhi, Aug 22 (UNI) Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda today held discussions with Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, and said he would announce his decision on whether to resign or not tomorrow.

''I will announce my resignation only tomorrow,'' he told mediapersons waiting in front of Ms Gandhi's residence.

He did not give any details about what transpired at the meeting with Ms Gandhi at her official 10 Janpath residence for about 30 minutes.

There were, however, indications that he would announce his resignation tomorrow to facilitate Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Shibu Soren to take over the reins of the government.

Mr Koda, whose government was reduced to a minority in the 82-member state assembly after the withdrawal of support by the JMM on Sunday last, told mediapersons at Ranchi early today that he was willing to resign if asked by Ms Gandhi.

AICC sources were also not forthright if Ms Gandhi asked Mr Koda to resign.

Mr Ahmed Patel, Political Secretary to Ms Gandhi, was also present during the meeting between Ms Gandhi and Mr Koda, an independent candidate who was Chief Minister of Jharkhand for 23 months.

Mr Koda came here in the afternoon to meet UPA leaders to try and save his chair in the wake of the all out efforts by Mr Soren to dislodge him and take over as the Chief Minister.

The central leadership of the UPA met at Ms Gandhi's residence here yesterday to discuss the Jharkhand issue.

Among those who attended the meeting were Mr Soren, who played a role in bailing out the Manmohan Singh government at the Centre in the July 22 trust vote with his five Lok Sabha MPs, and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad.

The Koda government now has the support of only 25 legislators.

Meanwhile, AICC Spokesman Shakeel Ahmed said the main concern of the Congress was not to allow a government of communal forces.

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